Anthony Donnell Johnson, 38, maintenance superintendent

June 12, 1996|By Robert Hilson Jr. | Robert Hilson Jr.,SUN STAFF

Anthony Donnell Johnson seldom went straight home from work. Instead, he would walk through his native Cherry Hill, lugging his carpenter's tool bag, looking to help residents with their home repair projects. Or doing the repairs himself.

And if anyone needed help with a leaky faucet or a faulty furnace, he'd gladly pitch in. Payment wasn't necessary, though some people did pay him.

"That's just the way he was," said his mother, Alice Marie Fulton of Baltimore. "He was always trying to help people with what he did best -- fixing things -- and he was real good at that."

Mr. Johnson, 38, known as "Donny," died Sunday of kidney failure at his East Baltimore apartment. He had been ill, but not seriously, and had attended a relative's graduation Friday, according to relatives.

Mr. Johnson was a popular figure in South Baltimore's Cherry Hill neighborhood, especially near LaRue Square where, Gladys Spellman said, he routinely stopped by her house asking what needed to be repaired.

"And he never accepted a penny," said Mrs. Spellman, a longtime Cherry Hill resident. "The most he ever took as payment was a Dr Pepper. He'd fix doors, windows, my vacuum cleaner, my stove, whatever. Sometimes he'd spend a couple of hours in here after he got off of work and not mind one bit.

"It takes quite a young man to take that kind of interest in the community and its people."

Mr. Johnson graduated from Dunbar High School in 1976 and attended what now is Baltimore City Community College for a year. He worked for City Wide Management as a maintenance superintendent and for a contracting company. He retired in 1991 and moved from Cherry Hill to Apostolic Towers, an East Baltimore nursing home, because of health problems.

While living at the nursing home, he developed and conducted an exercise class for senior citizens, said Maxine Hobbs, manager of the apartment building.

"Donny's outgoing and friendly personality won the love of all who knew him," said the Rev. K. C. Wilks, his uncle and pastor of First John Tabernacle Baptist Church, 2101 N. Ellamont St. "He was a very hard worker and always willing to do whatever he could for anyone who asked."

Mr. Johnson enjoyed reading about black history and writing poetry.

Funeral services will be held at 11 a.m. tomorrow at First John Tabernacle Baptist Church.

In addition to his mother, he is survived by his father, Thomas Fulton; and two brothers, Gary Johnson and Timothy Johnson. All are of Baltimore.

Pub date: 6/12/96

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