Celebrating the Life of Debra “Debbie” Johnson
October 23, 1957 – August 6, 2021
Debbie was born in Tampa, Florida to Dorothy E. and William D. Sage. She grew up in Tampa as the youngest of three siblings, where she met Joe, the love of her life, and married in 1977. Debbie and Joe enjoyed 43 wonderful years of marriage.
Newly married, she and Joe relocated to Maryland for three and a half years where she earned her degree from the University of Maryland-College Park. During that time, their son Joey was born. They provided a loving Christian home to their son and brought him up to know and love Jesus Christ as his savior.
Upon their return to Florida, Debbie began her career as a clerical worker for the Tampa Housing Authority, spending 17 years with the agency. Promotional opportunities led her to the St. Pete Housing Authority, and she was later appointed Executive Director/CEO of Pinellas County Housing Authority in 2009. She dedicated 39 years to her calling of serving underprivileged families as a champion of public and assisted housing. On her off time, one of her greatest joys was going to the beach.
Debbie was a devoted wife, mother, daughter, sister, and godmother. Known as a loving, kind, giving, and brilliant woman, family meant everything to her. She was a remarkable Christian woman of outstanding character who loved our Lord and Savior with all her heart and soul.
Debbie is survived by her husband, Joe L. Johnson; son, Joseph L. Johnson III.; daughter-in-law, Karen Buono; a future grandson; sister, Sharyn S. Mixon; brother, Gerald R. Sage; two nephews Steven Mixon, J. Christopher Mixon; three nieces, Cheryl Morgan, Renee Shepler, Allison Koplan; three godchildren, Leah Mixon, Julia Mixon, Johnny Mixon; and several nieces, nephews, great-nieces, great-nephews, and many friends.
A Celebration of Debbie’s Life will begin at 10:00 a.m. on August 13, 2021, continuing with the funeral service at 11 am at Hodges Family Funeral Home on US 301 in Dade City.