Jim teaching hikers how to drink from the coconut, or "suckin' the monkey face"
If you have ever had the sublime pleasure of spending any time on the tiny little island of Nevis, you probably met Jim Johnson. Perhaps you went on a nature hike through the mountainous jungles with him in search of vervet monkeys, or gazed at the sky’s miraculous stars while he guided you through the galaxies.
You may have even gone kayaking with him. And if you did meet him, you will never ever forget him. A charmingly complex character, I can think of a number of ways to describe him. One of my favorites is Peter Pan; he was always the little boy in search of a good adventure, especially if pirates were involved. And when you take a Peter Pan heart, measure in a very large dose of intelligence, stir in a devoted love of nature and God’s wonders, a dash of rebel, a cup full of passion, a handful of honest, genuine spirit and then dust lightly with magical pixie dust - you get Jim.
A true one-of-a-kind, Jim was passionate about nature, especially that of his island-home Nevis. There was never a more devoted crusader for Nevis. He loved Nevis and truly was an “unofficial” Ambassador of the wonders of island. He had a magical way of making you clearly see every little morsel of beauty that Nevis has to offer.
His guardian angel called, long before we were ready.
Peace to you Jim, as your soul ascends to explore the other side of God’s miraculous world. Your adventures up there are sure to be epic and we take comfort in knowing you’ll be there to guide us through the majesties that heaven has to offer when we eventually arrive.
A memorial in Nevis will be held on Friday, April 23rd at 4 pm at the Eden Brown Church of God.
A U.S. memorial service will be held on Saturday, April 24 at 2:00pm at the Clemson United Methodist Church in Clemson, S.C.
Jim’s company, Top to Bottom, can be found here. http://www.walknevis.com/
Jim’s articles on hundreds of varying subjects can be found here: http://wwww.helium.com/users/440316
For more detailed information about Jim's life, read Deb Brouillette's great article: Nevis has lost a treasure: Jim Johnson, resident biologist, tour guide, and friend - 1959-2010.
From Jim's family:
In lieu of sending flowers we are asking for donations to be sent to Judi, Jim's oldest sister, who will place them in an account for Patrick and Jessica's educational needs. Although Jessica's education is paid for in England she does still have day to day needs that can be costly. Patrick received a small scholarship this past year but this will cover only a fraction of the cost for attending Clemson University in August.
Jim did not have any life insurance and we wish to continue Jim's dreams in regards to his kids education. Since the mail takes months to get to Nevis, and half the time gets lost, we are asking the donations be sent to Judi's house. She will set up a trust account for the two children."
Checks made payable to:
Judi Hagan or Patrick Johnson
68 Thumper Lane
Arden, N.C. 28704
Home - 828-891-4921
Note: As we both cover travel to the Caribbean, I have become a friend and colleague of Debbra Brouillette, Tropical Travel Examiner. Last year, we both traveled to Nevis at separate times, and became acquainted with Jim Johnson. I was able to meet Jim in Oct 2009, when he invited me to participate in his first annual Pickled Pepper Pirate Party Time, which I wrote about in this article. We wish to jointly offer our sincere condolences to his family and the hundreds of friends he has made over the years. Our lives were impacted by having known him, however briefly… Each of us plans to pay tribute to Jim through articles about his life and the monumental contributions he made throughout the 24 years he lived on the island of Nevis.