William Johnson "Johnny" Gresham, Jr. passed away peacefully at his home in Marietta, Georgia on July 16, 2020 in the loving presence of his wife Lynda Johnson Gresham and his two daughters. He embraced his life and died as he lived surrounded by those that loved him. Born in Washington-Wilkes, Georgia to William Johnson Gresham, Sr. and Sara Frances Steed Gresham. He attended Washington High School where he lettered in football, baseball, track and tennis. He was a standout in football and was chosen All-State in 1960. He was Class B Back of the Year and held the state record for most points in one season, at 238 points, until Herschel Walker broke his record. He was inducted into the Washington-Wilkes Sports Hall of Fame in 2016 and they retired his jersey (#10) in 2018. He received a full athletic scholarship from Georgia Tech and became and outstanding halfback for Coach Bobby Dodd from 1961-1964. Freshman were unable to play Varsity. He led the Yellow Jackets to seven wins in each of three seasons. As a senior Team Captain in 1964, he led the Jackets in rushing yards (437) and receiving yards (290). He was inducted into the Georgia Tech Sports Hall of Fame in 1978. While at Tech, he was a member of Sigma Chi Fraternity, ODK, ANAK, and was student body Class President his junior and senior years. He later served on the Georgia Tech Advisory Board and the Industrial Management Board. He was a proud supporter of many of the sports teams. He could be found in the stands at games of football, basketball, baseball, golf and tennis matches. The 5th Street bridge over the I-75/85 connector in Midtown Atlanta, which links Georgia Tech's main campus to Tech Square, was named the Johnny Gresham Plaza Bridge in his honor in 2008. He loved all things Georgia Tech. After graduating from Tech in 1965 with a B.S. Degree in Industrial Management, he went on to a successful career in commercial real estate development and developed over three million square feet of office space. He founded Gresham Reality Company in 1969 and Gresham Real Estate Advisors in 1998, in addition to working for several large commercial real estate companies. As a public servant, he served in the Georgia State House of Representatives from 1987-1990 and on the board of the Georgia Department of Transportation from 1990-2007, serving two separate terms as GDOT's Chairman of the Board. He also served on more than 50 different board of directors and in leadership positions for numerous civic organizations. Some of these boards include Healthdyne, Kennestone-Wellstar Foundation, Kennesaw State University, Synovus Bank, Cobb EMC, PAC and the Cobb Galleria Authority. He was a charter member of The Georgian Club. In 1980, he and his wife Lynda, were one of the founding families that started Johnson Ferry Baptist Church in East Cobb County, which has become one of the largest churches in Georgia. He was Chairman of the Building Committee, that built the chapel and education building. He was a deacon and enjoyed teaching Sunday School in the youth department. They also helped start Shallowford Falls Baptist Church and Towne View Baptist Church both of which are in Cobb County. They have been members of Eastside Baptist Church in Marietta since 2009. On August 16, 1964, Johnny married the love of his life and high school sweetheart, Lynda. Lynda received her BS degree in Education from the University of Georgia. She graduated a year early, to be with him his senior year at Tech. Years later after having their two daughters, Lynn and Rhonda, they moved to Dunwoody, then to Marietta in 1977. He was so very proud of his family and he would always make time to attend any event to support his daughters and even more so his five granddaughters. He was proud of them in their sports endeavors and in the classroom. He would brag to anyone that would listen. He could even been seen at their practices, he didn't want to miss a moment of being a part of their lives. He was most proud to wear the title of Papi. Johnny loved the Lord and was comforted by his faith until the end. He had such loving support from his family and lifelong friends during his life and especially his last few months. He loved his life, his family, his friends, Cobb County and Georgia Tech. He loved to hunt, fish, play golf, travel and spend as much time as possible on his family farm, that had been in his family for generations. He was diligent until the end to his family, friends, work, church and country. He fought a good fight, but the Lord took him home at the age of 77. Johnny is survived by his loving wife of 55 years, Lynda, daughters Lynn and her husband Will Johns and Rhonda Gresham of Marietta; grandchildren Ashlyn Johns, Morgan Johns, Camryn Johns, Jaclyn Johns and Kaye Lynn Gresham. Memorial services will be held at a later date in Washington, Georgia and Atlanta. A private interment will be held for the family at Hopkins Funeral Home in Washington (https://www.hopkinsfuneralhome.com/obituaries/William-Gresham-6/) and he will be laid to rest next to his parents in Resthaven Cemetery. Any donations in his memory can be made to Tuberous Sclerosis Alliance Assoc. in honor of his granddaughter, Morgan Johns (www.tsalliance.org) or You Matter - The Spirit of America Ministry, founder Dean Sikes, a ministry that works with young people, particularly those who are contemplating suicide. (www.youmatter.us or www.deansikes.net)
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