Edward “Buster” Merlen Johnson

November 13, 2023

Edward M. Johnson, affectionately known as “Buster,” peacefully passed away on
November 2, 2023, at the age of 77, in Pensacola, Florida. He was a beloved husband, father, grandfather, uncle, and friend whose memory will forever be cherished.

Born on February 21, 1946, in Galveston, Texas, Buster was the son of Harold Gillespie and Virginia Harris. He grew up surrounded by the beauty of the Gulf Coast.

He was married to Mary R. Johnson for 34 years, and their love continued to blossom over
the course of their 36-year relationship. They built a beautiful life together as partners with the
U. S. Department of the Navy/Defense, Federal Service, and the U. S. Navy, active duty, working, transferring, and traveling. Together, they enjoyed land and water activities around Pensacola, Guam including the islands of the Mariana’s, Micronesia, Japan, Hong Kong, Singapore, Australia, Hawaii, and finally the festivals and parades in New Orleans.

Buster found his calling in law enforcement. Law and policing pounded through his veins.
He graduated from the Alabama Police Academy and the Alabama College of Police Science, became a police officer with the Gulf Shores Police Department, next hired as the Chief of Police for Millry, Alabama, and then entered into Federal Service law enforcement as his career until his retirement. After retirement, he continued his involvement and his personal high standards for education. Buster completed the Escambia County FL’s Citizens Law Enforcement Academy, a weekly ten evening course.

Prior to finding law enforcement, he spent a few years in the U.S. Army, and entered the U.S. Navy for the Vietnam Conflict. He was a Boatswain Mate, using his earlier Gulf Coast years for the Navy’s boats and water needs in the Vietnam rivers and the Pacific Ocean.

Buster was a man of integrity, known for his dedication and commitment in both his personal
and professional life. He was known for his attention to detail, laws and procedures, schedules, common sense, honesty, responsibility, and integrity. Overall, a person would know where Buster stood on a topic based on Buster’s standards and expectations. Contrasting his seriousness, he had a kind heart. He would provide a helping hand or a listening ear, and would uplift others with his quick wit and warm smile.

Outside of work, Buster had a passion for bowling, and time for fishing, relishing the peaceful moments on or near the water. At times, he searched with his metal detector. He was also an active member in various locations of the Knights of Columbus, the American Legion, in the Pensacola Rare Air VW Club, and the President of our local Neighborhood Watch.

He is preceded in death by Virginia Harris, his mother; Dixie Allessio, his sister; and Richard Johnson, his brother.

Buster is survived by his loving wife, Mary; his children, Richard (Colleen), Thomas (Brandy),
Virginia (Eric), and Rebecca; and many grandchildren, great-grandchildren, nieces, and nephews. He also leaves behind his sisters, Theresa, Rene, Cindy, Andrea, and brother, Andrew.


Comments are closed.