Jess Johnson

November 9, 2020

CASTLEWOOD, VIRGINIA – Jess Johnson, 76, long time Castlewood and St. Paul Funeral Director and co-founder of Castlewood Funeral Home since 1991, passed away unexpectedly, Thursday, October 8, 2020, at his home.

He was born in Dante, Virginia; son of the late Jessee James Sr. and Dorothy Kilgore Johnson. He was preceded in death by one sister, Shirlene Johnson Bailey.

Jess began working part-time at Huff-Cook Funeral Home in St. Paul, Virginia in May of 1964. On June 1, 1965, he began working full-time at Huff-Cook, where he remained until the end of 1990. He has been a licensed funeral director since 1970. He was a member and Past Master of the St. Paul Masonic Lodge #343 A.F. & A.M., 32nd Degree Mason in Scottish Rite in the Roanoke Consistory, member of the Jericho Shrine Temple, the Clinch Valley Chapter #152 O.E.S., past president of the Castlewood Lions Club, and a Member of Calvary Baptist Church in Castlewood, Virginia.

He is survived by his wife, Rita Slemp Mullins Johnson, the light of Poppa’s life, Aaron Burton; one son, Jessie “Jay” Johnson, III and wife, Penny of Castlewood, Virginia; one daughter, Rebecca Woodruff and husband, Timothy of St. Paul, Virginia; four grandchildren, Jessie Johnson IV and wife, Jannike of Castlewood, Virginia, Nathan Johnson and wife, Megan of Castlewood, Virginia, Josh Castle and wife, Rebecca of Castlewood, Virginia, and Olivia Castle; six great-grandchildren, Cayden and Conner Castle, Nolan Johnson, Henry Johnson, Kaitlyn Castle, and Aliaynna Woodruff; and several nieces and nephews.

Following the COVID-19 restrictions set forth by the Governor of Virginia on face-covering requirements and social distancing, Funeral Services for Jess Johnson will be conducted at 2:00 p.m., Sunday, October 18, 2020, in Castlewood Funeral Home Chapel in Castlewood, Virginia with Pastor Jim Pratt and Pastor Travis Price officiating. Entombment will follow in the Chapel of Love Mausoleum at Temple Hill Memorial Park in Castlewood, Virginia. Pallbearers will be Grandsons and Friends. Honorary Pallbearers will be the Men of Calvary Baptist Church and the Staff Members and former Staff Members of Castlewood Funeral Home.

The family will receive friends from 10:00 a.m. until 12:00 p.m. and again from 2:00 p.m. until 4:00 p.m. Saturday, October 17, 2020, in Castlewood Funeral Home in Castlewood, Virginia following the same restrictions. A radio broadcast of the service will be available on the Castlewood Funeral Home parking lot on radio station 88.9 FM during the service for those who would like to remain in your vehicle. In lieu of flowers, a donation may be made to The Gideon’s International, Memorial Bible Program at P.O. Box 2002, Lebanon, Virginia 24266, or the St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital at 501 St. Jude’s Place Memphis, Tennessee 38105. Online condolences may be sent to the Johnson family through our website at The funeral service will be available to view on our website at a later date. Castlewood Funeral Home is in charge of the arrangements.

Castlewood Funeral Home Chapel
Southwest Funeral Directors Association

In Remembrance

Funeral flowers

Recent Obituaries

Obituaries by District

Service of Remembrance 2019

Service of Remembrance June 18, 2019