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"A place for everything, and everything in its place."

– Isabella Beeton

“The Tree of Life is growing where the spirit never dies”

– Bob Dylan

Henry Johnson

Name

Nickname

1949

2024

-

The seeds of information we need, to help you grow your Tree of Life Memorial.

We keep our loved ones alive with stories. Stories keep us connected to them. Stories allow us to hear their voices, to time travel with them, to keep them in our hearts forever. Let’s begin with an epitaph of sorts–how would your loved one want to be remembered? What did you most admire about him or her? We’ll help you with other thought starters below so you can plant the seeds that will grow into their Tree of Life Memorial.

Henry Johnson

Henry J

1949

2024

A man of oxymorons Henry was jovial and engaging but kept to himself. He liked to sing, with Voices of our City, and in the empty halls of the school. He was punctual and dedicated to his duties, and although he lived alone on the streets he had a ready smile for any who saw him. He often wore brightly colored gloves as he cleaned his space and encouraged others to do the same in his community, and often had a handy pair of gloves to give out when attending the choir lunches.

Henry's Story

Henry was 75 years old and had been living on the streets of San Diego for 10 years. He was known as a jovial, engaging man who kept to himself outside of the Voices of Our City Choir and Father Joe’s for lunch.
He was born in 1949 to Joe and Marsha Johnson, in Tupelo Mississippi and he had 2 younger sisters. He began working at a young age to financially support his family after his father had a debilitating accident. Though Henry didn’t graduate high school, he worked for many years supporting his family until his parents passed on. He was raised around the civil rights movement and the Baptist church, and was proud of how his city was the first to receive the "All American City Award" for integration. For 40 years, he worked in schools as a janitor. Here he was known for his unfailing punctuality, dedication to his duties, a ready smile for staff and students alike, and his colorful cleaning gloves.

When Henry retired, he was unable to keep up with rising rent rates and began living on the streets, joining San Diego’s community of unhoused people. After becoming known for his smile and willingness to jump in to help clean up lunches at Father Joe’s, he later found and joined the Voices of Our City Choir. There he would lead others in cleaning up after each practice, often wearing his brightly colored gloves. His encouragement inspired staff and attendants alike to join him in cleaning up after the choir lunches.

Janitorial work typically includes maintaining the cleanliness of a building or offices, removing garbage, and keeping an overall healthy environment. This was Henry’s life’s work and it stands in stark contrast to how many unhoused people are perceived. Dirty, filthy, trashy are often words used to describe people who live on the streets. Henry, and many others, do not fit those descriptions. His life is not made less by missing a door and a roof in his final years. Instead, Henry showed us that a bright pair of gloves and a smile can create a welcoming environment for everyone.

Story

“A people without the knowledge of their past history, origin and culture is like a tree without roots.”

– Marcus Garvey

 

We keep our loved ones alive with stories. Stories keep us connected. Stories allow us to hear their voices, to time travel with them, to keep them in our hearts forever. 

Henry Johnson
Henry Johnson
Henry Johnson
Henry Johnson

Tupelo Mississippi. USA

Male

Born in

A

Nationality

USA

Spoke

English

Faith

Baptist

African American

Cultural Heritage

Astrological Sign

Capricorn

Zodiac Sign

Earth Ox

Memories

“Be the things you loved most about the people who are gone.” 

– digitalandstone

 

Write a short story about your most precious memory of your loved one. How did they impact your life? What has been the gift of knowing them? 

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Environmental Legacies Created

In Henry's Name

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What is the imprint you or your loved one have left on this earth, on the world, on your family and friends? Now there’s a way you can make the quality of your legacy appropriate to the quality of your life. Grow an Environmental legacy story in a way that’s sustainable, creative and artistic.

Create an Environmental Legacy 

In Henry's Name

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