Jason Edward ‘Jay’ Johnson, 45, talented musician who embraced beach life

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Jason Edward Johnson
Jason Edward Johnson

Jason Edward ‘Jay’ Johnson, 45, of Wilmington, died Monday, April 11, 2016, at his home.

He was born in Kansas City, Mo., on January 8, 1971. Early in life, he moved with his family to western Nebraska. Jay returned to the Kansas City area with his mother, Mona L. Johnson-Inzer, in the summer of 1984. Jason played lead guitar for several years in a successful Kansas City band. He managed a music store and had many guitar students.

Jay relocated to Portland, Ore., in 2008, where he taught private guitar lessons and worked as the jazz band teacher at a high school. He moved to Kure Beach in the spring of 2012, where he embraced and loved the beach life. He enjoyed running on the beach while living there and he was also avid cyclist. Jay was happy to be back living near family. He was a devoted son, brother, uncle and friend who will be dearly missed.

Jay will always be remembered for his music. A gifted guitarist, he wrote over 30 pieces of music in the last two years, which he loved playing for family and friends. He had recently begun playing his ‘finger-style’ acoustic melodies in local coffee houses in Wilmington.

Also remembered are his grandparents, Nell and James F. Smith of Independence, Mo., and his stepfather, Ray Inzer, all of whom preceded Jay in death.

Surviving are his mother, Mona L. Johnson-Inzer of Wilmington; two sisters, Pamela Smith of Wilmington and Teresa Smith of Kansas City, Mo.; one brother, Christopher Johnson of Liberty, Mo.; four nephews, Taylor Smith, Adam Smith, Nicholas Johnson and Noah Johnson; beloved cousin, Edward See, for whom Jay was named; and numerous other cousins.

A memorial service will be held at 11 a.m. Saturday, May 7, at The Unity Church, 717 Orchard Ave., Wilmington.

In lieu of flowers memorials may be made to Unity of Wilmington.

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