Johnny D. Salem
Johnny “Nappy” Salem, who worked at Kaiser Permanente as a surgery technician for many years, died Nov. 3 in Walnut Creek. He was 94.
Born Oct. 21, 1918, he was educated in Brooks County, Quitman, Georgia and in 1938 entered Georgia State A&I, then known as a Colored College. The college later changed its name to Savannah State University.
He moved to California in 1942 where he worked on submarines at the Mare Island Naval Shipyard in Vallejo.
At the end of the war he began a career in the health industry starting at French Hospital as an orderly and eventually retired as a surgery tech from Kaiser Permanente after 25 years of service.
His later years were devoted to writing, gardening and doting on his 13 grandchildren, and four great-grandchildren. He was known as a classical music lover and a gracious host with a ready cup of tea and a plate of cookies for all visitors. He was also a sports fan and loved watching his sons compete.
At his request,Salem was cremated in a private family service. His ashes will be returned to his much-loved hometown, Quitman, Georgia.
He was preceded in death by his first wife Eunice Waites. From that marriage sons Michael and Howard Salem were born. Johnny is also preceded in death by his second wife of 48 years, Dorothy Quillings Copes, who brought two children to their union, Tanya and James Copes.
Elizabeth and Margo Salem were the last two born. All the children currently reside in Oakland.
Salem also leaves nieces and nephews especially Yearby Webb and Daphne Scott, extended family and a host of friends.
A celebration of his life will be held at noon on Saturday Dec. 1 at Saints’ Rest Missionary Baptist Church at 1401 57th Ave. in Oakland, James Anderson, Pastor.