JOHNSON, Captain William "Bill" Franklin, 61, of Follansbee, WV, passed away surrounded by his family and friends on Monday, December 2, 2013, at his residence.
William was born on April 12, 1952, in New Brighton, PA. William was the son of the late William Lawrence Johnson.
William was a member of Cross Road Christian Church, Wintersville, OH. He was the owner and operator of Johnson Towing and Follansbee Fleeting, Follansbee, WV, along the bank of the Ohio River.
He operated four tow boats moving barges from Pittsburgh to the mouth of the Mississippi. William made the river his life and loved it. William's family has a heritage of river men with his dad as a captain and uncles as owners of boats and companies. Many will remember him for being the Best Captain on the River, the youngest Captain at age 21 and for being a mentor for so many.
William is survived by his loving wife, Becky (Villari) Johnson of Follansbee, WV; five children, James (Brenda) Johnson of Kentucky, Kaye Benton of Weirton, WV, Michelle (Ron) Ross of Follansbee, WV, Catherine (Nicholas) Cekinovich of Follansbee, WV, and Billie (Phillip) Casinelli of Follansbee, WV; and their mother, Ruby Johnson of Follansbee, WV; four stepchildren, Christopher Buell of Alexandra, VA, Jennifer (Michael) Berry of AR, Samantha Buell of Mingo Junction, OH, and Landry Turner of Follansbee, WV; 11 grandchildren, Kathleen, Chely, Justin, Amanda, Joshua, Sarah, Lacey, Nicholas, Michael, Alivia, and Dominic; three step- grandchildren, Christopher, Jacob, and Lane; a great-grandson, Gavin; two sisters, Gloria Kay Smith of NC and Linda Moffitt of New Brighton, PA; and several nieces, nephews and friends.
Family and friends will be received on Friday, December 6, 2013, from 2-4 and 7-9 p.m. and Saturday, December 7, 2013, from 10 a.m. until time of funeral service at 11 a.m. at the James Funeral Home, 1245 Main Street, Follansbee, WV (304) 527-1717, with Pastor Jeff Greco, officiating.
Interment will follow in Oak Grove Cemetery, Follansbee, WV.
Please add or view condolences at www.chambersndjames.com.