John Archie Johnson, Jr. (“Archie”) passed away surrounded by family on December 24, 2022 in Virginia Beach.
Born in Norfolk, Virginia on August 23, 1922 he recently celebrated his 100th birthday. His mind stayed sharp while remaining devoted to his families interests and he continued to enjoy mowing his lawn, a 4pm shot of scotch whisky, and a daily cigar until the end.
His parents, John Archie Johnson, Sr. and Clara Bell Stephenson, both of North Carolina, preceded him in death. Archie married his wife, Betty Delia Wood, in 1950 and spent 56 years raising their children together before her passing in 2007.
He is survived by his son, John Archie Johnson, III (“Johnny”) of Virginia Beach and daughter, Elizabeth Anne Buscher (John) of Wachapreague, Virginia; grandchildren, Sloane Solanto (Christopher), Robert Buscher (Ashley), Richard Buscher, Rachel Lam (Mark), and Nicholas Johnson; and great-‐grandchildren Bennett Buscher and Clara Lam. Archie is also survived by his dear friend and companion Ann Smith, whom he became close with in his later years.
Archie will also be missed greatly by his friends at the Atlantic Wildfowl Heritage Museum, the London Bridge Rotary Club, and the Back Bay Wildfowl Guild, where he served on its board of directors for many years as well as president in 1987.
Archie graduated Maury High School and attended Virginia Polytechnic Institute and the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania where he received his masters in business administration. His time at university was interrupted while he served in the United States Army during WWII. He spent his enlisted years state side as an airplane mechanic working on the Boeing model B-‐29 Superfortress.
Upon return to Virginia and completion of his master’s degree he co-‐founded Cavalier Clothes with his father and worked as a traveling clothing salesman. Archie and his wife, Betty, opened the Ship and Shore Gift Shops at the Virginia Beach Oceanfront in the mid-‐1960s. By the early 1970s Cavalier Clothes evolved into a screen-‐printing business in which Archie and his son, Johnny, incorporated as Cavalier Sportswear and to this day is still being ran as a successful family business.
Archie’s most notable contributions to the local Virginia and North Carolina areas are within the waterfowl communities. Stemming from his time working on his high school yearbook and newspaper, his passion for photography eventually showcased various waterfowl, the areas in which they live, and the people who pursue them. His photos have been featured in a number of waterfowl festivals, museums, and magazines over the years. Archie and long time friend, Bud Coppedge, wrote and published Gun Clubs & Decoys of Back Bay and Currituck Sound in 1991. A few years later Archie wrote and published Canvas Decoys of North America. Both books represent the great knowledge and respect Archie had for antique decoys and the culture within duck hunting that is unique to our local area. In addition to his photography, Archie also enjoyed collecting and restoring antique decoys. Many of his refurbished works have made their way to decoy collections all over the country.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Atlantic Wildfowl Heritage Museum or the Virginia Beach Volunteer Rescue Squad.
Had the pleasure of knowing Archie from the museum and at the drug store. I enjoyed have ice cream with on occasion. Such a great man. Will miss him and his knowledge and stories . May he have eternal peace
In loving memory for the best Dad this girl could have had. Always kind and generous and caring for his Eastern Shore Boys, Robert, Richard and Bennett. We will all miss him more than words can express. Love Forever, Popoo! Anne and John B
May the love of God surround you and your family during this difficult time,
May you come to know that the love of God is with you always,
May your memories of John Archie Johnson Jr., give you peace, comfort and strength…
Rest now in the arms of our Lord your mission on earth is complete.
I thank you for your service to our Country and my Freedom. You will not be forgotten.
and prayers to the family of ….
US Army Veteran, John Archie Johnson Jr., is “A True American Hero” God Bless†
† Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends. John 15:13 †
My heart is broken for the Johnson Family and Ann Smith. Archie was a beloved member of the Virginia Beach Community and will be missed by everyone.