Cover photo for James "Coach" Johnson's Obituary
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1937 James "Coach" Johnson 2023

James "Coach" Johnson

May 5, 1937 — December 30, 2023

Brevard, North Carolina

Jim Johnson (Coach Johnson) passed away peacefully at home on Dec.30, 2023 after an extended battle with cardiac issues. He was a loving husband to his high school sweetheart and wife Gertrude Johnson (Trudie) for 57 years, prior to her passing in 2015.

Jim was born in Asheville, North Carolina on May 5, 1937. He grew up on a farm in Madison County, NC. He graduated from Walnut High School and Gardner Webb College where he was starting quarterback and defensive back in the mid 1950’s. He was a driver’s education instructor and athletics coach (football and golf) at Brevard High School for many years. Coach Johnson had a unique talent for teaching and coaching.

Jim loved to play golf and had many good memories and fun stories to tell. He was a founding member of Glen Cannon Country Club in Brevard and found joy and long lasting friendships on the golf course.

After retirement in 1991, Jim and Trudie traveled throughout the US and abroad with both family and friends. He found solace in their vegetable garden. He delighted in the simple joy of seeding plants and watching them grow which is a testament to his nurturing spirit. He had a soft spot for nature’s creatures. He loved feeding birds, squirrels and the occasional bear, finding joy in their presence.

Coach Johnson’s greatest source of pride was his family. He was a devoted husband and a loving father, grandfather and great-grandfather. He is survived by his daughter and son-in-law, Jamie and Mark Perreault of Hendersonville, NC. Jim loved and cherished his time with grandchildren Robbie (Katy) Perreault of Winter Park, FL, Chris (Spenser) Perreault of Westminster, CO and Leah (Will Cole) Perreault of Littleton, CO. Jim had two great grandchildren, Lucy and Ceci Perreault also of Winter Park, FL. Jim was predeceased by his siblings Robert Jr, and Dorothy and is survived by his sisters Betty (Bruce) Rigsby of Charleston, SC, and Joan (David) Caldwell of Walnut, NC and brother Ronnie (Jenny) Johnson of Winston-Salem, NC

The family would like to thank Care Partners of Transylvania County (hospice) for their ongoing help and support and their wonderful and compassionate care and friendship over the past four years.

Funeral services will be at First Baptist Church in Brevard on Friday, January 5, 2024. We will gather for a welcome reception from 11:00-12:30 and the funeral will follow at 1:00 PM.

To leave a condolence for the family of Coach Johnson, visit "Tributes" at

Moore-Blanchard Funerals & Cremations is honored to be caring for the family.


To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of James "Coach" Johnson, please visit our flower store.


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