Norman Johnson

Norman Johnson

11.04.1943 - 02.10.2021

Norman sadly passed away on 2nd October 2021, aged 78 years. Beloved husband of Jan, much loved dad of Natalie and Tanya and loving grandad. Sadly missed by all his family and friends. Forever in our hearts.

Laureen

04.11.2021

Dear Norman,
A wonderful husband, father, grandfather and friend to many.
You will be missed by all that knew you, your friends in Clanfield and the friends you so easily made in Aldwick.
You will never be forgotten.

Laureen and Alan x

Cheryl (for Elsie)

02.11.2021

Thank you for bring such a good neighbour to me. A lovely man.
From Elsie at No 2.

Sally Parrett

01.11.2021

Normie...always remembered...
All our love and thoughts
Sally, Graham, Lauren and Evie xx

Tanya

31.10.2021

In memory of my darling dad and wonderful grandad who enriched our lives beyond measure.
Thank you for everything you gave and for all the lives you touched Dad.
Missing you already,
Tanya, Paul, Lara & Ruby xxxx

Tanya Hartley

31.10.2021

A Family Tribute - written by Tanya from all of us

My dad had many sayings. When we were younger, he used to answer the phone by saying War Office. He loved quoting Blackadder, which always made us laugh in a really silly way. And he would often say Missing You Already when saying goodbye.

But one of his favourite sayings was “my cup runneth over”. And to all of us, those four words really do sum him up because he was so content with his life and counted his blessings every day. What a wonderful way to be!

Incredibly, for someone so full of love and positivity, dad came from so little. The youngest of four boys, Dad’s childhood was tough. His dad died when he was two and there was little money or creature comforts.

I am always staggered that someone who grew up without a dad could be such a wonderful dad and grandad. His love for us was boundless and he showed it in the ways he taught us and cared for us.


As I prepared to drive down this weekend, I could hear him reminding me to check my tyres. He taught all three of us how to wire a plug, assemble flatpack furniture, do basic car checks and how to wield a drill. And he did it all with the patience of a saint.

He began a decade of adventures, sailing around the world when he joined the Navy at the age of 15. He got a smart uniform and a toothbrush for the first time in his life! One of his favourite tales about life at sea was when he had to guard 30 dangerous pirates captured off the coast of Borneo. He was only 17 or 18 but he guarded them all night with a powerful machine gun in his hand. No doubt Dad was selected for that particular job because of his ability to remain calm in the face of adversity.


This calmness came in very useful when teaching Nat and me to drive, for as any parent who has done that job will know, it can be utterly terrifying (sorry Lara). But if Dad was scared, he never showed it.

I remember a particularly hair-raising trip back from somewhere in Devon where Nat’s car had broken down, when Dad and I towed her back along the never-ending coast road. Again there he was like a knight in shining armour ready to save the day in his wonderful calm kind way.

Self-taught in almost every DIY skill known to man, Dad could turn his hand to pretty much anything, whether putting a new kitchen in Nat’s first house or moving a summer house single-handedly using a couple of old broom handles.

Once as a teenager, I remember going out to the garage to find he had removed the entire engine of his car, which was dangling by ropes from the roof rafters.

He’d been out there for hours, Johnny Cash playing on his tape recorder and just working out how it all came apart and fitted back together, happy as Larry.

Unflappable in the kitchen, Dad cooked a Sunday roast at Nat’s for near on 20 years. When Harry was so poorly, Dad cooked nutritious meals to help aid Harry’s recovery and I truly believe that it did.

Every term for many years, Dad would drive up north and stay with us for a week cooking chicken pies and jam tarts, which we all loved. He was still making Nat beans on toast with her toast cut into little squares up until a year ago.

Mum and dad enjoyed some wonderful holidays, with their many friends: Terry and Addie, Mick and Ros, Glynis and Trevor, Jean and Terry, the Mussells, Kathleen, and Doreen and Mike. One of their holiday highlights was a trip to Australia in 2000 where they scuba dived on the Great Barrier Reef.

But one of Dad’s all-time favourite places was France.

We spent many happy family holidays camping there as kids. They are among the happiest days of my life though no doubt were hard work for mum and dad who drove all the way to the south of France in a little Vauxhall Chevette, stopping in lay-bys along the way for much-needed sleep and coffee.

In later years, Dad very much enjoyed visiting the Normandy beaches and war cemeteries where he could indulge his love of war history.

He also really loved going to France with Terry and Terry for so-called cheap wine. Funny thing is it would have been cheaper to buy it in England. They just had such a good laugh going away together and who can blame them?

One of the last things Dad said to me was ‘See you in France’. Next year we’re going to take Dad’s ashes to France. I think he’d approve. Particularly if we take a good bottle of red with us.

Apart from his family, Dad had many loves including country and western music, Blackadder, Bargain Hunt, Police Interceptors, stripy T-shirts, red wine, a good steak, cooking and a phenomenal knowledge about wartime history.

Back in the day, his two other passions were running - he ran the London marathon twice - and Lija, our beloved German Shepherd. Lija was a big beautiful dog and trained by Dad to within an inch of her life. A mere look from dad as she tried to inch her way over the threshhold while we were eating was enough to have her going into reverse mode.

When she was young, Lija would sometimes run with Dad and me over the undulating roads of Clanfield. I remember running with dad, lungs bursting, up the steep hill behind Piper’s Mead. It was tough but Dad would just tell me to keep going and not stop, no matter now slowly I went.

It’s kind of a good metaphor for life and, yet again, good advice from Dad, and will continue to guide me in the years to come.

I guess that same metaphor kept Dad fighting for so long in his final months even when faced with a lot of pain and difficulties. Amazingly, right to the end, his wonderful smile and pint half-full mentality prevailed.

And Dad was right. Because his cup did run over with blessings in so many ways. Because he had an incredible soul mate in mum. What a love story. Thank you Mum – from all of us. You have been so incredibly strong and resilient and, like dad, you remained so positive. You went above and beyond what anyone could have done to keep Dad at home for as long as you did.

We are so grateful for your many lovely messages about Dad, and how his kindness and happiness touched your lives. Nat and I are thankful for your care of mum.

In the days after Dad died, we came across this poem which we think perfectly sums up our wonderful Normy. It’s called,

Not, How Did He Die, But How Did He Live?

Not, how did he die, but how did he live?
Not, what did he gain, but what did he give?
These are the units to measure the worth
Of a man as a man, regardless of his birth.
Nor what was his church, nor what was his creed?
But had he befriended those really in need?
Was he ever ready, with words of good cheer,
To bring back a smile, to banish a tear?
Not what did the sketch in the newspaper say,
But how many were sorry when he passed away?


We love you Normy and we are going to miss you so much.
Thank you for everything you gave and for all the lives you touched.
See you in France one day darling dad…

Ruby Hartley

31.10.2021

Memories of my grandad by Ruby Hartley

Normie, a husband, dad, my awesome grandad and friend,
Some may say your time has come to an end
It seems so hard to comprehend,
But instead it’s just see you again.

Though we will never come home to your roast dinners or jam tarts
We will save your seat at the table because you’re always in our hearts.
We will raise a toast with your favourite red wine,
because Normie your spirit will continue to shine.

You went above and beyond for all you met,
From teaching your two girls to drive,
to steering your naval ship away from the pirates' eyes,
You always lent a helping hand,
You never failed to understand.

In the special year of ’65,
You officially had Jan wedded by your side.
A few years down the line and you had two babies,
Who have now blossomed into beautiful ladies.

Lara, Hollie, Ruby, Harry and Jess,
Your grandkids who know you’re simply the best!

Thank you Normie for being you,
They don’t make many quite like you.
Loved by so many,
Who have all come to wave you goodbye.

We love you so much Normie - fly high

We are all missing you already.

Sue and Robin

30.10.2021

Your love for life touched so many. sadly missed.

Sue and Robin

Terry and Addie

27.10.2021

In memory of our dear friend, Norman.
So many happy, shared memories.
We all miss him.
From The Keenan’s


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