Cover photo for James Clifford Johnson, Jr.'s Obituary
James Clifford Johnson, Jr. Profile Photo

James Clifford Johnson, Jr.

July 8, 1947 — February 11, 2023

Racing Enthusiast

WATERBURY – James C. Johnson Jr., aka “Bubba”, 75, of Waterbury, passed away Saturday, February 11, 2023, at Saint Mary’s Hospital. He was the husband of Deborah (Kopf) Johnson.

James was born July 8, 1947, in Waterbury CT, the son of the late James C. “Doc” Johnson Sr. and lived in Waterbury most of his life. He was a graduate of Bunker Hill Elementary as well as Kennedy High School. James was a U.S. Navy veteran and proudly served his country for three years in Guam during the Vietnam conflict. Mr. Johnson was a recipient of the National Defense Service Medal. He worked at Farnham Crushed Stone in Hamden CT until his retirement in 2009. Mr. Johnson loved his family and could light up a room with his infectious smile and humor. Mr. Johnson’s true passion was racing so it was no surprise that he met the love of his life at West Haven Speedway on June 12, 1965. He was heavily involved with the Gaudiosi Race team for many years, spending countless hours working in the pits and shops. James took a break in racing to join the Navy and start a family; however, in 2004, with his father by his side, he pursued his dream to build go-karts and joined the Nutmeg Kart Association, which became his extended family. James truly enjoyed watching his grandson race from the young age of 5 and continuously over the next 13 years along with all the other young racers at the track. This past racing season, Mr. Johnson proudly carried the American Flag around the track on his motorized scooter during the National Anthem. James was unique in so many ways and he made the world a better place for all of us, and we were all blessed and thankful to have had him in our lives.

Left to honor his legacy and cherish his memories besides his wife of 52 years Deborah, he leaves his daughters Valerie (Robert) Rose of Oakville, and Pamela (Corey) Herrington of Waterbury; a son, James A. (Samantha) Johnson of Watertown; a sister, Cindy (Clem) Soricelli of Waterbury; a brother, Paul (Cindy) Garland of Wolcott; 7 cherished grandchildren, Johnathon, Sara, Ariah, Brianna, Ethan, Nicalyna and Kara; his beloved four-legged sidekick Lance; and many nieces and nephews. He was predeceased by his brother Neil Johnson of Waterbury and Robert Garland of New York.

Funeral Services and burial will be held privately at the convenience of the family. Relatives and friends may visit with Mr. Johnson’s family on Saturday, February 18, 2023 from 4:00 pm until 6:00 p.m. at Casey’s Eastside Memorial Funeral Home and Cremation Care, 1987 East Main St. Waterbury, CT 06705. Loving kindness is always welcome, and it only takes a moment to offer a message of condolence, words of comfort, or share a memory with the family and friends of someone important to you. Please visit James’s tribute page at to do so.
To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of James Clifford Johnson, Jr., please visit our flower store.

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Saturday, February 18, 2023

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Casey's Eastside Memorial Funeral Home & Cremation Care

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Waterbury, CT 06705

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