Everett Ray Johnson III passed away at his home in Los Angeles, California on Thursday, May 9, 2019. He was forty-five years old. EJ was born September 11, 1973 in Patterson, N.J.
He attended Booker T. Washington High School in Norfolk, VA. Everett graduated from Norfolk State University in 1996 with a degree in Mass Communications. He was a lifelong member of First Baptist Church, Bute Street and attended services whenever he was in town. Everett was always an outgoing and talkative person. He never met a stranger.
After completing his freshman year of college, Everett took a break and went on an around the world tour with Sean “Puffy” Combs 1995 “Phattest Hip Hop Tour” as a stage hand working his way up to set design and backstage manager. Everett fell in love with life on the road and decided after that tour he was going in to artist management. He returned to Norfolk State after the tour to continue his education. He took another year off from Norfolk State University to work an internship at Walt Disney World in Orlando FL. The internship was only supposed to last six months, but Everett loved it so much he stayed on another six months. During his internship he worked in various departments at Disney. His favorite part of his internship was when he was given the role of the Beast in the stage production of Beauty & the Beast at MGM studios. He loved Disney so much, his parents were worried he would not come back home and finish college. Everett was a man of his word and returned to NSU to complete his degree.
Once Everett got into the entertainment industry, he started going by the name EJ but of course to his family he will always be Lil Everett. Upon graduation, his first job was as a production assistant for the show “Hard Ball with Chris Matthews” in Washington D.C. When the show moved from D.C to New York City, EJ was one of the few employees who was offered continued employment with the show and moved to New York City. EJ lived in New York for several years and after 9/11 he felt it was time to move on. He packed himself up and said “Ma, I’m moving to California and no I do not have a job.” He gave himself six months to figure out his next steps. EJ was in California for two weeks and ran into a collegue from his Disney Internship days, who offered him a job on the spot in the entertainment industry. EJ worked for William Morris Endeavor Entertainment as a talent agent. He was a workaholic and enjoyed every minute of what he did. EJ lived his dream of traveling the world and working in the entertainment industry.
He is predeceased by his mother, Mary H. Johnson. He is survived by his father, Commander Everett R. Johnson Jr. (RET); sisters, Tracy Hodges (Taekwon), Danielle Griffin (Dominic); brother, Malcolm Johnson; grandmother, Marie E Johnson; nephews, Taylor M. Hodges; Dominic L. Griffin II; niece, Alyssa D. Johnson; great aunt, Martha Almond; special cousin, Fay Shelton; two special aunties, Rene Eure; Aurella Addison; and a host of other cousins, relatives and friends.
Memorial services will take place on Saturday, May 18, 2019 at 1:00 pm, First Baptist Church, Bute Street in Norfolk, VA.