Floyd W. “The Butcher” Johnson, MSgt, United States Air Force retired, made his final takeoff on Thursday, September 19, 2013.
He was born in Taft, California, in 1932 to Edwain Johnson and Miriam Hoot Johnson, and had an older sister, Edwina (d. 2013). He was adopted by Edward Wood when his mother remarried. Floyd apprenticed his stepfather in the grocery and meat-cutting business and graduated from Santa Cruz High School (California) in 1951.
From there, he joined the US Air Force, and served for 26 years as an aircraft mechanic and later, the First Sergeant of the 50th Tactical Airlift Squadron at Little Rock AFB, Arkansas. Floyd served one tour during the Korean war, and two tours in Vietnam. While serving, he also moonlighted as a meat-cutter, waiter, and bartender, keeping his hand in the food service trade.
After retiring in 1977, he quickly got bored with house painting and wood chopping, and bought a small Jacksonville grocery in 1978, naming it “Floyd’s Meat and Seafood”. His late wife Rhonda, who died in 2000, added a Cajun flair to the shop. Their three surviving children, Lorie Johnson, Lisa Marshall, and Thad Johnson helped run the business.
Lisa Marshall apprenticed her father in the trade and purchased the store from Floyd. She moved it to Sherwood, where she and fiancé Larry Gordon recently marked 36 years of business. Floyd’s store became ‘world famous’ (along with Floyd) when troops serving in Desert Storm had their families ship boxes of his homemade beef jerky to some of their bases.
Floyd’s other passion besides making and selling good food, perfecting recipes, and telling great war-stories, was tinkering around with airplanes and flying. He became a licensed pilot at the age of 65. Floyd purchased and maintained a 1961 Cessna 172 at North Little Rock Airport.
He will be buried with honors at the Veterans Memorial Cemetery in North Little Rock on Monday, September 30.
Memorial Services will be held Friday, Sept. 27 at 2 p.m. at Griffin Leggett Rest Hills Chapel.