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1939 Psalm 2020

Psalm Johnson

January 17, 1939 — December 19, 2020

Psalm David Johnson, 81, of East Hartford, beloved husband and best friend for 19-years of the late Thelma Miller-Johnson, passed away peacefully on Saturday, December 19, 2020.

Psalm was born in Savannah, GA, on January 17, 1939, son of the late Senia and Pearl (Hill) Johnson. He graduated from Woodville High School in 1956 in Savannah, GA, and was always passionate about sports.

Psalm was a loving husband, father, uncle, cousin, and dear friend. He will truly be missed by all who knew him. His family will fondly remember him as a man who loved his wife and his family dearly. Psalm enjoyed attending family gatherings and always stressed the importance of family to his nieces and nephews. It was his wish to always have them be close with each other and appreciate life. He was a man who would help anyone in any way he could, both personally and financially. Psalm will also be fondly remembered as a "Jack of All Trades."

Psalm is survived by his sister, Alice L. Ward; his brother-in-law, Joseph Young, Sr. of Bloomfield; his nieces and nephews, Cassandra Grant, Lucretia Johnson, Stephanie Lewis and her significant other Edward Dunlap, Gabriel Johnson and his wife Cathy, Velma D. Proffitt and her husband Joel, Solomon Johnson, Sr. and his wife Barbara, Wanda Ward, Louis A Ward, Avis P. Ward, Johnnie Ward, II, Keith Young and his wife Nikole, Andrea Young-Davis and her husband Earl Davis, Anthony Young and his wife Valencia, Janis Young, Joseph Young, Jr. and his wife Teressa, Felicia Young, Felipe Young and his wife Eria Best-Young, Meredith L. Johnson, Candace Greene and her husband Emmit, Victor J. Johnson; his son's sister, Catherine Davis; and a host of other relatives and dear friends.

Psalm was predeceased by his son, Ronald Dailey; his step-son, Richard Smith; his sister, Lillie Mae Young; his brothers, Senia Johnson, Jr. and Arthur J. Johnson; his sisters-in-law, Rose Mary Johnson and Josephine L. Johnson; his brother-in-law, Johnnie Ward, Sr.; his nieces, Beverly Johnson and Jean Audrey Ward; and his nephew-in-law, Emmett Earl Greene.and a host of nieces, nephews, other relatives and dear friends.

Who was Psalm Johnson...

Psalm was a trailblazer in many aspects. He loved History and often spoke about his childhood and what it was like to grow up in a world of prejudice. From 1957-1964 he was a professional Super LightWeight boxer, now known as a Featherweight. He boxed in Connecticut, Massachusetts, New York, and Rhode Island areas. In 14 fights, he had 8 wins, 5 losses, and 1 tie. After his boxing career, he became a professional golfer.

Psalm's interest in golf began as a teenager, when he caddied at the Union Bag Golf Course in Savannah, Georgia. At that time, due to segregation he was not allowed to play during regular golf hours. Therefore, Psalm and his friends played golf during the early dawn before golf members arrived on the course. Integration in the North allowed Psalm's golf game to excel when he came to Hartford, Connecticut. He was an exceptional amateur golfer who later became a professional golfer. Psalm was a fan favorite during the tournaments. His signature mark was placing a pistol cap on his ball, so that when he hit the ball, it would sound like a firecracker. This excited the fans and everyone cheered. Psalm met the love of his life, Thelma, at the Knickerbocker Golf Club in New Haven. They were also members of Airways Golf Club in Suffield. Psalm was the Golf Pro at Keney Park Golf Course and also taught lessons at Topstone Golf Course in South Windsor, Golfers Warehouse, and a facility in Cromwell. Psalm taught golf lessons to kids in a youth program in Hartford. He actively participated in the Greater Hartford open and helped his community by assisting with the Aldene Burton Community homeless dinners at Holy Trinity Roman Catholic Church.

He was a black pioneer in the golf world and would tell stories about how it was to be involved in the golfing industry as a man of color. Although he experienced a lot in his life and the prejudices in the world, he stressed the importance of how far we have come as a society not only in the world, but in the sports world and how important it was to learn from history.

He was an avid card player and enjoyed bowling, fishing, and watching golf and the Knicks on television. Psalm also loved to act, perform in plays with Thelma and would do skits, plays and recite poems at family gatherings and funerals. He starred in the play "The Narrow Way," a Light Source production based on Matthew 7:14, written and directed by his nephew, Joseph Young Jr.

Psalm was a man of impeccable taste and was very meticulous, not only in his dress, but also in his actions. He had a strong sense of social responsibility and would step in if he saw anyone being taken advantage of.

Special thanks to Charlie Kennedy, Frank Perry, Willie Polote, and other friends and family members who helped provide information.
To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Psalm Johnson, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services


Thursday, January 16, 2020

Starts at 12:30 pm (Eastern time)

Zion Hill AME Zion Church Cemetery

, Camden, SC 29020

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