Life Story / Obituary
William Bradley Johnson, age 51, passed away at his home in Holland, MI. on Thursday May 14, 2020. Brad was born February 10, 1969 in Fort Sill, Oklahoma, helping the US population to reach a staggering 200 million! He arrived into this world and was already breaking records!
If you were connected to Brad, you knew his health hadn’t been well for quite some time. In addition, you also knew he was kind and had such a great heart. He loved his family and friends and we all loved him.
From a young age he was a hard charger, creative, funny, and musical. As Brad was coming of age, another young man named John Michael Osbourne, later to be known quite simply as just "Ozzy" or the "Prince of Darkness," formed an iconic band called Black Sabbath. Little did any of us know how much of an impact this group would have on Brad, and how they shaped Brad's taste in music for many years to come. His bedroom was eventually filled wall-to-wall with various Black Sabbath album covers, posters and anything else he felt was pure Metal. Of course no boy’s wall was ever complete without the occasional hot chick poster as well!
Brad graduated from West Ottawa High School in 1987. He later went on to work at Lifesavers where he met and made numerous lifelong friends. He was very approachable, charismatic, funny, and had a knack for remembering movies and movie quotes or one liners.
Interestingly enough, the same year Brad was born the Beatles Album "Sgt Pepper" fell off the charts. I feel like in some ways Brad himself was Sgt Pepper! It wasn't uncommon while growing up to see him eat hot mustard or drink hot sauce straight out of the bottle. He had a love for food, cooking and hot peppers. The hotter the better! It seemed fitting that he left Lifesavers and moved to Steamboat Springs, to begin work as a sous-chef for Mazzolo’s Italian Diner. He lived and worked there for the better part of a decade before moving back to Holland in 2011. He then worked at Herman Miller for a time.
Among other things, B-rad had a love for old muscle cars and hockey. He wouldn't miss a chance to see Robert Probert skate and punish the opposing team on the ice. He also had an unwavering love for the Detroit Lions and Philadelphia Eagles. Brad knew one day they'd win and take home that coveted Vince Lombardi Trophy. In 2018 the Eagles finally did!
His life was unlike anyone else we knew. His relationships with family and friends were layered, but without a doubt filled with laughter and love. Brad will genuinely and most certainly be missed.
Brad is preceded in death by his grandparents, Neil and Reka Bontekoe, Valentine and Annie Johnson, Tony Battaglia and John Weller. Survived by his parents Brenda and Patrick Battaglia of Holland, Michigan, and brothers Matthew Johnson with his sweetheart Lisa Matthews, and Ross Johnson with his wife Alice Austin Johnson, all residing in Los Angeles, California. Sisters Shelley with husband Matt Williams and niece Aria of Portland, Oregon, and Mia Battaglia with her sweetheart Malkohm Horn of Boulder, Colorado. Also several aunts, uncles, cousins, friends, and father Jonathan Christopherson of Springdale, Arkansas.
A “Celebration of Brad's Life” will be held at a later date. Donations in his memory may be made to Harbor Humane Society at harborhumane.org.