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Gregory C. Johnson, graphic and commercial artist, referee

June 10, 1957 – June 26, 2014

Gregory C. Johnson, an area artist and sports referee, died Thursday in his Buffalo home. He was 57.

Mr. Johnson attended McKinley Vocational High School and Ivy School of Professional Art in Pittsburgh. He returned to Buffalo and worked as a self-employed commercial and graphic artist until his death.

He made many murals, signs, company logos and personal portraits for local businesses and community organizations in the Buffalo area. Two of his recent murals were for a city jazz club and pizza parlor. He also did artwork for Hamlin Park, where he grew up.

“He had a habit of not turning anyone away,” said his sister Cheryl Alli. “He liked to help people with their advertising, and that was his medium to get your message across – graphics and art.”

Mr. Johnson also refereed high school and college basketball and football games.

“Early in his life, he had a heart condition, so that limited his ability to participate in sports,” Alli said. “He played a little basketball and baseball, but [officiating] was his way of remaining involved in sports and with the youth.”

Survivors in addition to his sister include a daughter, Jameelah Bailey; and four other sisters, Brenda Johnson, Donna Ruth, Lisha Lewis and Carla Mathis.

Services will be held at 11 a.m. Wednesday in Delaware Chapel of Amigone Funeral Home, 1132 Delaware Ave.

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