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Local obituary: Daryl Johnson, member of Patriots’ 1960s All-Decade Team

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Daryl Johnson, of Haverhill, died on Nov. 25, 2023.

Daryl Johnson. – Driscoll Funeral Home

Daryl E. Johnson of Haverhill, MA, passed away peacefully on November 25, 2023, at High Pointe House in Haverhill, MA. 

Daryl was born on August 11, 1946, in Richmond, VA. He was a devoted husband, father, and grandfather. Daryl is survived by his loving wife of 38 years, Helen Griffin; his daughter, Brandi Johnson Greene (Lance) of Beverly, MA;  his son, Deron Johnson (Beth) of Winter Park, FL; his cherished granddaughter, Nevaeh; his brother, Adrian Blair; two nephews, Ron Johnson and Adrian Blair Jr.; niece, Daria Johnson, in addition to cousins, grandnieces/nephews, and extended family and friends. He was predeceased by his mother, Evelyn (Simms) Johnson-Blair and his brother, Ronald Johnson Jr. His family was his pride and joy, and he took immense pleasure in all their accomplishments.

Daryl was a proud graduate of Maggie L. Walker High School (class of 1964) and Morgan State University (class of 1968). His achievements extended beyond the classroom onto the football field. As the starting quarterback in college, Daryl led the Morgan State Bears to three undefeated seasons, earning the team national recognition and an invitation as the first HBCU to compete in the 1966 NCAA Atlantic Coast Tangerine Bowl (now referred to as the Citrus Bowl). Daryl completed his collegiate career as a three-time CIAA Conference Champion; a two-time NCAA National Champion; a 1st team Pittsburgh Courier Black All-American Defensive Back, and was the 1967 NCAA Small College Player of the Year (a prestigious award presented by the Pigskin Club of Washington, D.C.). His athletic prowess earned him a revered place in both the Maggie L. Walker and Morgan State Athletic Halls of Fame.

In 1968, Daryl was drafted in the 8th round of the American Football League to the Boston Patriots as a standout Defensive Back. His tenacity, I.Q., skill set, and athleticism earned him a starting role during his rookie season. He entertained and inspired fans enough to be voted onto the Patriots All-Decade Team of the 1960s. Daryl was an esteemed member of the Boston Patriots (AFL) from 1968-1969 and the New England Patriots (NFL) from 1970-1972. He ended his professional playing career in the World Football League on the Houston Texans and Shreveport Steamer teams (1974-1975). 

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Beyond the football field, Daryl also held many professional careers. He was a co-host on the Radio Show “Your Sports IQ” (alongside his friend and fellow New England Patriot, the late Jim Nance); a District Manager for the Chrysler Corporation; a Stockbroker for Bache, Halsey, Stuart, Inc.; a Claims Adjuster for Kemper Insurance; a Human Resource Consultant, Small Business Liaison Officer, Purchasing Agent, and Senior Buyer for Textron Defense Systems; and a Probation Officer in the Stoughton District Court. Additionally, Daryl co-owned a clothing store located in Belmont, MA, and eventually created two businesses of his own — one as a General Contractor and the other as a Sports Consultant advising athletes across the professional, collegiate, and high school levels. 

In his spare time, Daryl coached track and field at Saugus High School; football at Austin Prep; and two semi-pro football teams. He also volunteered and coached basketball for the Special Olympics.

Daryl further exemplified his commitment to community and service serving on the Minority Business Task Force to advise Senator John Kerry on small business matters and was also a Master Mason of the Prince Hall Grand Lodge of Free & Accepted Masons.

Daryl’s life was rich with achievements, but it was his character that truly set him apart. His strength, loyalty, and warm spirit will be remembered by all who knew him. His life was a testament to resilience, dedication, and an unwavering commitment to excellence.

As we mourn the loss of this extraordinary man, we also celebrate his life and the remarkable impact he made on so many. His spirit will forever be a part of the communities he touched, the sports he loved, and the hearts of his loved ones.

Private services will be held. Arrangements by Driscoll Funeral Home, Haverhill. For guestbook, visit www.driscollcares.com.

This local obituary is published via Legacy.com and Driscoll Funeral Home. Want a loved one’s obituary featured on Boston.com? Submit your obituary here, or email it to [email protected].

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Source: Boston Globe

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