Dwight Joseph Johnson, age 72, made his eternal transition on Thursday April 25, 2019 at University Hospitals Geauga Medical Center with his family by his side after a lengthy illness. He was the son of Pete and Louise Johnson and was born in Newark, NJ on October 14, 1946. He married his high school love, Brenda Johnson, on June 27, 1970.
Dwight graduated from South Side High School in Newark and attended Shaw University, a historically black college in Raleigh, NC. Dwight studied photography and made his career as a professional photographer. His first position was at the Star-Ledger newspaper. As a news photographer, he covered a number of historic events such as the 1967 Newark riots and the impeachment of President Nixon. Dwight's skills would lead him to his biggest career move as the chief photographer for boxing promoter Don King. His first assignment was the legendary boxing match between Muhammad Ali and George Foreman, popularly known as "The Rumble in the Jungle." Dwight traveled the world photographing some of the most iconic celebrity figures and boxing matches in the 70s and 80s that sports fans today still treasure and revere.
In 1981, Dwight changed jobs and relocated his family to Orwell, Ohio to become the boxing camp director for Don King. Dwight loved living in Orwell and immersed himself in the community. He was a volunteer fireman, paramedic, and IT consultant. He left Don King Productions and entered the academy to become a deputy sheriff in Ashtabula County. He later worked for the state of Ohio as an agent for the Department of Liquor Control until his retirement in 2010. While retired, Dwight continued his civic duty by running for councilman in Orwell and served proudly until his passing. Dwight took his role seriously as the first African American appointee and strived to make his constituents proud.
In his leisure time, Dwight enjoyed gardening with his wife Brenda and grandson Kyle. He loved western movies and listening to jazz, classical, gospel, and R&B music. He enjoyed talks with his son Frederick who followed in his footsteps as a photographer and IT consultant. Dwight would spend hours in his basement office reading about technology and current events. Dwight was a longtime member of the Orwell North Presbyterian Church and served faithfully until his passing.
Dwight is survived by his wife, Brenda, son, Frederick, niece, Kavel, nephew, Dwayne and grandchildren Kaylyn, and Kyle, and great granddaughter, Victoria, and host of great nieces and nephews. His parents, and his sister Michelle, and brother Wayne preceded him in death.
All services will be held at the Orwell North Presbyterian Church located at 135 N. Maple Street, Orwell, Ohio 44076 and officiated by Pastor John Gehring-Anders. Visitation will be Friday, May 3, 2019 at 6pm to 8pm and the funeral service will be Saturday May 4, 2019 at 11am. Arrangements are being handled by Paine Funeral Home, Inc., Orwell. Condolences may be made at painefuneralhome.com.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the Orwell Presbyterian Church.
FLOWERS - Please deliver directly to the Orwell Presbyterian Church. Church will be open on Friday, May 3rd 1pm to 4pm.
Orwell North Presbyterian Church
PO Box 127, 135 N. Maple Street, Orwell OH 44076