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Hilery "Jim Bat" Johnson Jr.

Hilery "Jim Bat" Johnson Jr. age 83 of Morgantown Ky., passed away Friday, June 29, 2012 at his residence in Morgantown, Kentucky. Mr. Johnson was born on December 28, 1928, in Butler County, Ky., to the late Hilery Sr. and Allie Mae Young Johnson. He was a member of Leonard Oak General Baptist Church, Cassia Masonic Lodge #272, Butler County Shrine Club, The Odd Fellows Lodge, and the Butler County Fox Hunters Club. 

Jim Bat was a dedicated public servant for 43 years to the citizens of Morgantown and Butler County serving: the Morgantown City Police Department for 9 years and being the first chief of police for Morgantown Ky. in 1956, as the County Surveyor for 12 years, and being the Butler County Jailer for 22 years in which he retired from, while being Chief of Police, Surveyor, and Jailer he was a active member of The Morgantown Volunteer Fire Dept. Jim Bat also had a great love for being outdoors hunting, fishing, and running his beagle hounds.

He was preceded in death by 3 brothers in- laws, Charles West, Wendell Embry and Ellis McIntosh.

Hilery "Jim Bat" Johnson Jr. is survived by his wife of 66 years Lois Woodcock Johnson of Morgantown; 2 daughters Pat Lawrence and husband Larry of Morgantown, and Susie Williams and husband Spivey of Bowling Green; 1 son Tim Johnson of Scottsville; 5 grandchildren Ricky Romans and wife Kay of Morgantown, Dana Phelps and husband Billy of Morgantown, Kim Otto and husband Kurt of Bowling Green, Stacie Williams of Bowling Green, and Wesley Johnson of Cookville, TN.; 8 great grandchildren and 2 great great grandchildren; 4 sisters Naomi West of Morgantown, Nellie McIntosh of Morgantown, Shirley Embry of Bowling Green, and Doris McPherson and husband Bobby of Morgantown; 3 Brothers Lessie Johnson and wife Jolene of Beaver Dam, Laymon Johnson and wife Gaylene of Morgantown, and Diddle Johnson and wife Sandy of Morgantown.

Funeral services will be held on Tuesday, July 3, 2012 at 2:00 pm at the Jones Funeral Chapel with Bro. Gary Embry officiating. Burial will be in the Hill Haven Memory Gardens at which time last rites will be conducted by the Morgantown City Police Department. Visitation will be held on Monday, July 2, 2012, at the Jones Funeral Chapel from 12:00 pm till 8:00 pm with Masonic Rites being conducted by Cassia Masonic Lodge #272 at 6:30 pm on Monday at  Jones Funeral Chapel. Visitation will also be held on Tuesday, July 3, 2012 from 8:00 am till funeral time at 2:00 pm at the Jones Funeral Chapel. In lieu of flowers the family wish for expression of sympathy be made to Butler Co. EMS P.O. Box 485 Morgantown Ky. 42261 and Butler County Cancer Assistance P.O. Box 98 Aberdeen Ky. 42201. Online condolences may be made at



With deepest sympathy for your loss. All of you are in our thoughts and prayers.
God all ways takes the best. So sorry and all of you are in our thoughts and prayers.God BlessYou.Alice
Rest In Peace ~~ Hilery "Jim Bat" Johnson Jr. Your work here on earth is done and your rest in Heaven begins. You were a special man and will always be missed. To all family members you are in my thoughts and prayers.
Our deepest sympathy to all the family. I will sure miss Jim Bat coming by the office and saying, "How are you today, Ms. Kitty?" He always called my Mom Ms. Kitty from years back over a gun incident.
bat,i would liked to seen you a few more times before you died,somewhere around the year 2022 or later. bye bat,cousin don.
Jimbat will be greatly missed by all whom have known him. I can see him an my dad together again as they were when they was working together as Police officers (MPD). Their smiling faces looking down on us. R.I.P Jimbat. Love you an miss you.
My sympathy goes to Jimbat's family. My father, Harold Kelley, and Jimbat were very close friends and every time I would see Jimbat I would remember the times Daddy would come home and share with us some of the laughs and good times they had shared. He will always be fondly remembered by me and my family.
I have loved Jim Bat and Lois for the 50 years I have lived in Butler County. My thoughts and prayers are with the family, especially Pat and Susie. Your entire family has meant so much to me! June
Lois and family, So sorry to hear about JimBat.. he was one of friendlest and nice person.. always have a smile n story to tell..(i m son of eddie johnson and grandson of Bill n Nita Johnson)
Wish I had words to help with the pain you all feeling now. I have been through this twice and there are no words but know that prayer helps. I prefer to remember Jim Bat the last time I saw him at the Post office laughing and talking to everyone. He never met a stranger. Pat, Sue and Tim will keep you all in my prayers. Jennifer
A heartfelt thank you to everyone that paid tribute and participated even in the smallest way that made today such a special day. I have been in the family for almost 40 years and always heard from Jim bat that butler county was the best place in the world to live, I always thought it was a nice community but not until today did I really know why he felt the way he did. Sitting on the sidelines and seeing the hundreds of people that paid their respects at the funeral home, all the food and flowers, the absolutely perfect job done by the jones funeral home the many high ranking officials that took their time to visit, all of the law enforcement, firefighters, rescue personel, and the citizens of butler county that lined the streets during the last ride was nothing short of amazing. Words cannot express how honored I am to have been the son in law of a man that not only loved his family but his entire community and everyone in it. Again thank you so much and butler county just may be the best place in the world to live. Spivey Williams.
Dear Morgantown and surrounding communities, I have been reading the numerous comments and seen the incredible outpouring of care and love that the community has shown Jim Bat and I felt compelled to add my own "two cents worth". Most folks called him Jim Bat or just plain Bat. Others actually called him Hilery, but very few even knew that was his legal name. I had the pleasure of calling him Daddy. I didn't call him Father, Dad, or any of the other connotations you can use; to me he was always just plain Daddy. I just really felt the need to express my appreciation to everyone that came out to the funeral home Monday and Tuesday to pay their respects. I have heard more stories on my Daddy than you can "shake a stick at" and I would love to share just a few with you that I most remembered during those last two days. I'm sure I will leave out several as I type my thoughts into this comment box so my apologies to those I forget to mention. One encounter was from on old gentleman that asked where I was living now. He said that Daddy had told him years ago that I had to move off from town because I couldn't use what I went to college for here in Morgantown. The gentleman went on to tell me that even though Daddy didn't exactly know what I majored in during my college years or even what it was exactly that I did for a living he was none-the-less proud of me. This hit very close to home for me since my Daddy always had a sense of pride for his kids. Seeing what my two sisters have been through taking care of both Mom and Daddy during the past year, I can definitely understand his pride in both of them. Me, well I'm sort of another story. You see, I was the baby of the family and oh how I did enjoy that most of the time. My job as the baby of the family was to be taken care of as opposed to being the caretaker. To say that I was spoiled is an understatement. I still hear Pat and Susie talking about pulling me in a red wagon around town when Daddy was jailer at the old jail. There are also stories of me having a string tied to my swing when I was around three years old in the old jail's yard and having it connected to an inmate upstairs with the instructions to pull that string until I got tired of swinging. (The jail's security regulations have certainly changed in the past 45 years). According to Daddy, I considered myself his "smallest deputy" and expected the inmates to do exactly what I said. According to Mom, most of the inmates complied just to get me to shut up. That may explain why Daddy and my sisters gave in to my demands most of the time as well. I had more than one of Daddy's inmates greet me Monday night and explain to me that had it not been for Mom and Daddy, they would probably be dead by now. It seems that Daddy would quite often take inmates under his wing and straighten them out in a way that only Daddy could. He definitely had a knack for straightening folks out (I speak of this from personal experience as well). I'm sure Daddy's brothers and sisters know a little bit about this ability of his as well. Daddy, after all, was the big brother. I met some of Daddy's ole CB buddies and we talked about how Daddy used to love to talk on that CB radio. I gave them the insight to the fact that Daddy's CB radio used to interfere with our T.V. and Mother would have a fit on Daddy if it was during one of her favorite shows. Daddy would comply and stay off the air until her show ended since he didn't want to upset Mother too bad. Daddy loved Mother dearly and definitely didn't want to make her mad. Mom might possibly be one of the few people on this Earth that Daddy had a little fear toward. Guess that might explain why they were married for 66 years. I also got to meet with several of his old fox hunting buddies. I went with him a few times and sat around the fire with him and his buddies and listened to the dogs run. They had a time and a half talking about the "good ole days." I did notice, however, that each time the same stories grew just a little bit larger. I guess that was part of the fox-hunting ritual. And then we come to all of the political folks that came to pay their respects. Daddy would have been so proud to have known that his political buddies and non-buddies came to wish him well on his final journey. Daddy always said that true servants of the community knew how to put political differences aside when it came to matters of compassion and caring. He always said that was a matter of character. I guess that's why he had as many Democratic friends as any Republican I knew. He always had a tendency toward compassion and caring regardless of a person's political affiliation. He always told me that some things were just more important than politics. Not a lot of things, but some things. All of Daddy's political folks pretty much agreed that Daddy was a natural-born politician. This I would agree with as well. He definitely had that need to know everyone and talk to anyone he ran into on the sidewalk. I can remember dreading going into town with him when I was a little tike because a quick run into town would turn in to a two-hour trip since he would meet all of these people that he had to talk to. As I grew old enough to understand, I realized that Daddy genuinely loved people. He loved talking to them, getting to know them, and helping them in anyway he could. In a nutshell, Daddy loved life. And he especially loved life in Morgantown Kentucky. Everyone meant so much to this man, and if he liked you he meant it. He once told me that pretending was something he just wasn't that good at. So I can tell everyone, it wasn't an act. If he spoke to you it wasn't to get a vote; he spoke to you because he cared about you. No matter where he was, whether on vacation in Florida or in the hospital at Bowling Green, he was always proud to talk about the folks of Morgantown. Had I not known better, I would have thought he was on the payroll as Tourism Commissioner of Morgantown Kentucky. It is ironic how you don't realize the greatness of your hometown until you leave home for a while and then come back for something such as a parent's funeral. Although this has been one of the hardest things I have ever been through, the community has made me very proud to say that I was raised in Morgantown Kentucky and my Daddy is laid to rest in such an incredible town. From the police, fire, and emergency departments that made Daddy's final journey to his gravesite one to be remembered; to the folks at Jones' Funeral Home that got us through everything; to the Masons that conducted a beautiful ceremony for Daddy on Monday night, I extend a heartfelt thank you. Thank you as well Beech Tree News for giving me an opportunity to express some thoughts to my Daddy's community. I'm sure my sisters, Pat and Susie, will convey their thank you as well either in a personal thank you or in a public forum such as this and mention all of the folks that I forgot, but I just wanted to be sure and get my thank you conveyed while it was pressing on my heart as heavily as it is today. I'm sort of like Daddy in the sense, "say what you mean, and mean what you say; and always say what you think while you're thinking about it." With heart-felt thanks to my family and community, Tim Johnson also known as Timmy Johnson (also known as Buck Wheat to my Daddy)
Suzie, So sorry to hear of the passing of your father---what a wonderful dedicated daughter you have been. Love you and thinking of you. Judy

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