John L. Booker, the last of the original (OG’s) earned his wings on Friday, August 16, 2019 at approximately 3:30 pm. He began his earthly journey
On June 16, 1937 born to the late Evans and Daisy (Harris) Booker in Sharon, GA. The baby brother of eleven siblings, John was as the elders would say “spoiled rotten”. In 1950, his older siblings in Columbus, Ohio travelled back to GA to bury their brother Jerry and upon their return, they brought John back with them and continued to spoil him rotten.
Along this journey to his final destination, John lived a life that took full advantage of all that it had to offer him. Although his siblings spoiled him, they taught him the value of having a work ethic, so at a young age he began working at Burger Boy Mainliner and retired as a machinist from Capital Manufacturing after 30 years of employment.
In 1957 God blessed John to meet his lifelong soul mate, a beautiful young lady by the name of Florence Tuck. Upon setting eyes on her, he declared her to be his wife. True to his word, they were united in Holy Matrimony on October 7, 1957. Together, he and Florence created and reared four children, Janet, Sharon, Johnny, and Juan. Their home was filled with love and much laughter, as someone was always cracking a joke or playing a prank, with John being the Captain of jokes and pranks. Having a passion for traveling, each year John would pack up the family along with the jokes and pranks and head to Virginia Beach to spread the fun and laughter. Over the years he shared his jokes and pranks on bus trips to prominent casinos throughout Ohio, Indiana, Michigan and Mississippi. And what made his jokes and pranks so funny and unique was his inborn ability to carry them out in such a soft-spoken manner. Looking at him and hearing his soft-spoken voice, you would never think he could be so funny, but he would have you “Rollin’ on the floor laughing” (ROTFL for the texting generation).
Coming from a Christian family and confessing his faith in Christ, John joined the Stewart Memorial CME Church where he was a faithful member and servant on the Trustee Board. In this Ministry, he was responsible for maintaining, securing, and enhancing the real and personal property of the Church. John was faithful and diligent in ensuring that the Church premises were safe and well maintained. John had a tenor voice that was often compared to Sam Cooke. He used his vocal gift to give honor and glory to God as a member of the Spiritual Tornadoes, traveling with them across the country, but riding separately with his Sisters and most often with his daughter Sharon. During his tenure with the Tornadoes he penned the words to the song, “Tears of Joy”. He was instrumental in forming the Booker Choir that included his sister Alma, his children, nieces, and nephews. They would sing songs of Zion at various religious venues around the local area. A few of his favorite songs was Jesus Be a Fence, Grace and Mercy, and Near the Cross.
Saturdays and Sundays will not be the same watching the Ohio State Buckeyes, Cincinnati Bengals, Cleveland Cavaliers, and the Cleveland Browns as John always had colorful narration for coaches, players, and referees when things didn’t go right. Anyone remember THE FUMBLE?
And what do you know about Uncle John’s Potato Salad and Sweet Potato Pies? At any family eating event, we could count on our palates being refreshed with such goodness. Uncle John’s Sweet Potato Pies were so good and famous, they travelled by private charted bus from Columbus, OH to Southwest Georgia.
John was preceded in death by his parents Evans and Daisy Booker; brothers: Clifford, Jerry, Willie Evan, Freeman (Wilma), and Albert. Sisters: Eura Dee (Harvey) Brown, Daisy Tate, Nina (James) Tanner, Mary Harris, Annie Paschal, and Alma Booker; Daughter: Janet Smith; Sons-in-Law: Norman Smith and Gregory Hamrick.
Leaving to treasure his memory is his wife Florence Booker; children: Sharon Hamrick, John Booker, Jr., Juan Booker Sr.; Uncle-in-law Carl (Nancy) Peele, Aunt May Johnson; Sisters-in-law: Georgia Booker, Annette Sutton, and Denise Cordell; Brothers-in-law: Steve (Angela) Baker and Larry Baker; Grandchildren: Jonathan, Gregory, Maurice, Nickolas, Justin, Juan, Jaylen, Janell, Johnna, and Brianna, Host of Great-grandchildren, nieces, nephews, and many friends.