Birth Date: 02/25/1935
Deceased Date: 08/24/2021
Johnnie Lee Lassiter was born on February 25, 1935, to the late Wiley Lassiter and Mary Ellen Edmundson Lassiter in Wayne county, North Carolina. After a brief illness, Johnnie was called home to be with his Lord and Savior on August 24, 2021, in Smithfield, NC.
Johnnie as a child was affectionately called “Bud”. After losing his mother at the age of 6, Johnnie lived with his father and his paternal grandparents occasionally. He learned to work in the fields at an early age. He would tell stories of how people would tell his father,” Wiley that boy can work a mule like a grown man”; Johnnie was 8. He was educated in the Johnston County, NC, school system.
As a young man, he started his love of western movies and fashion. Getting “dressed up” on the weekend and hanging out in downtown Kenly was the place to be. He believed that every man needed a tailored suit and a pair of Johnston and Murphy shoes. At the age of 21, Johnnie joined the United State Army. He would say that he had no intentions of joining the military, but on the day he did, he was walking to town when a car carrying 3 young men stopped and gave him a ride. When he asked where they were going, they said to join the Army. He said, I think I will go with you and enlisted that day but the others were too young. While in the military he was a lineman stationed in Louisiana. Being in the military exposed him to a life that he had not experienced in Johnston County. He longed for more.
After the military, he briefly went back home to Johnston County. After not being able to find an adequate job he followed his mother’s family to Newport News, VA. A couple of months later, he made his way to Washington, DC. He was able to get a job at National Airport as a dishwasher. He soon began his D.C. Government service in janitorial services, at the Children’s Home in Laurel, MD. He was able to get a new position at D.C. Village in Washington, DC. During his time there, he met the woman that would become is the wife of 46 years, Rosie Lee Hill; together they welcomed 2 children, Gina and Johnnie R. After completing his training as a Special Police Officer for the D.C. Government; he worked in this position until his retirement in 1990.
In 1991, he moved back to Johnston County, NC. There he started a new job transporting patients for DAPAA, to their appointments. Little did he know that some of these people would become his friends and form a family. He continued to transport his friends after he no longer worked for DAPAA.
Being in NC allowed him to reconnect with friends and family he had not seen since the ’50s. Johnnie was a natural storyteller. He had a memory like no other. He could remember things that happened when he was 3 years old and every place he lived as a boy. He was a conversationalist and a master debater. He was a “muscle” car enthusiast. He loved his music and dancing. He loved his family and made sure that his children knew his family and their history.
He was a dedicated father. He is survived by his daughter Gina Lassiter; daughter-in-law, SaDetra Lassiter, 8 grandchildren, Shante King, Shavay King, Johnnie D. Lassiter, Khameren Lassiter, Khouri Lassiter, Yendi Young, Taye Lassiter, and Caiden Lassiter; and 1 great-grandchild, Khalayah King; brothers Edmund Lassiter, Wilbert Richardson, and sandy Richardson; sisters Annie Richardson and Florence Smith. His goddaughter Michelle Allen and many nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his son Johnnie R. Lassiter; brothers Wiley Lassiter Jr., Donald Lassiter Sr., Joseph Lassiter Sr and Sam Richardson; sister Alphia Jane Brown
Please visit www.rlsandersfuneralhome.net to leave online condolences.
Saturday, September 04
Smithfield Community Park Pavilion 1
600 M. Durwood Stephenson Parkway
Smithfield, NC 27577