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Otha William Johnson, III

February 24, 1950 - January 05, 2016

Otha William Johnson III, was born on February 24, 1950 to Otha William John- son, Jr. and Gwendoly n Johnson in Harlem, New York. He attended elemen- tary Public School (PS) 170, Junior high school 13, and was a proud alumnus of the renowned Charles Evan Hughes Hiuch School Class of 1968.

As a young man growing up in Harlem, he was well-re- spected by his peers and neighbors alike. He was con- sidered a role model to his younger siblings and friends. As a teenager, he developed an interest in photography. His interest began with still life photography and quickly transitioned into taking pho- tos of his family, friends and neighbors. When Otha would visit Harlem, he would take pictures of everyone in his

neighborhood especially the old-time neighbors of 1370 5th Avenue. He soon re- ceived much praise and grat- itude for his photographs. It was at this time, he knew that he had a special gift of cap- turing the unique beauty of each individual he pho- tographed. Otha further de- veloped his gift and passion for photography as a student at the Fashion Insitute of Technology (FIT) in New York City. After he completed his photography courses at FIT, he enlisted into the United States Army where he served as a military police officer and official photographer of his military unit.

On June 19, 1976, he married his then girlfriend, Lynell Triplett, and one year later, the newly wed couple moved to California. Califor- nia was where the two were

able to start their life and fam- ily together and welcomed their daughter Courtny John- son and son Otha “Mathew” Johnson.

Shortly after moving to California he adopted the name "Brother Jaye" be- cause 1t was easy to remem- ber and spell. From thereon, to all, including his family, he was affectionately referred to as Brother Jaye. He would often say he could tell how long someone knew him by which name they called him. He was a man of great character and had an undeni- able work ethi·c. He often worked two full time jobs while persistently pursuing his passion He began work- ing for Assoc iated Family Photographers (AFP), which was,stationed the local Safe- way stores. This ranted him the opportunity to photograph families all across the bay area. He later left AFP and began to embark on a new career as family photogra- pher. Brother Jaye's tena-

cious nature and entrepre- neurial spirit allowed him to start his own photography company first named Bay Ci 1otography and later changed to Brother Jaye Stu- dios. Although, he pho- tographed any and everyone, he had a special gift for work- ing with 1ildren. He gained much success with children's photography all across the greater bay area. He pho- tographed Head Start pre- school program elementary school, and high schools in San Mateo, Santa Clara,San Francisco, Alameda,Contra Costa, and San Joaquin would effort- lessly drive over 100 miles one way each day to ensure that he captures the hearts and smiles of every child he photographed.

Brother Jaye became a well-known photographer throughout the State of California. His amazing gift of photography afforded him the opportunity to photograph newscasters,corporate executives, pastors, and dignitaries. Brother Jaye worked with numerous local and national organizations, which included:The Black Caucus, The Boys and Girls club of America, San Francisco chapter of the NAACP, Valley Transportation Agency, Pop Warner football, Costco, 100 Black women, National Baptist Convention, California State Baptist Convention, Junior Cotillion and numerous other events and organizations. Brother Jaye had a true

passion for service and community. He often partnered with many local non-profit organizations to help with their fundraising efforts. He was founding member of the Association of Minority Professional Photographers and an active member of the Greater Bay Area Professional Photographer Association and Professional Photogrraphers of America. He also was a beloved mentor to many young adults who shared his passion for photography He was an avid salsa dancer, zumba dancer and holistic medicine enthusiast. He was a beloved member of Mt. Zion Baptist Church

where he served as an usher and sang in the men's choir on occasion. He and his...served as co-director of the marriage ministry for over 15 years. He was the official photographer for Mt. Zion Baptist Church and had the privilege of photographing every member of the congregation. He was an active member of the Men's Ministry and forged lifelong friendships with several of the members. He met monthly for breakfast with many of the men from the congregation. In his transition back home to be with the Lord Christ our Savior, he will be reunited with his father Billy, mother Gwen and sister Rene who preceded him in death. Brother Jaye loved the Lord, his family and photography in that order. He leaves to mourn his wife of forty years, Lynell and their two children Courtny and Matthew Johnson. His sisters Regina Hamilton (brother-in-law Brian Hamilton) Donna Fickling of New York City , a brother, Gary Johnson (sister-in-law Inez Johnson) of Virginia, Gail Parker (brother-in-law Eddie Parker) of New York, Ellen Johnson of New City and a host of nieces, nephews, cousins and friends. In the words of Sir Winston Churchill, "You make a living by what you get; you make a life by what you give." Rooted in faith, a loving...and a passion for people, Otha William Johnson, III truly made a life by what he gave. "How does it get any better than that?"-Brother Jaye

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