Roll of Honor

Sivad H. Johnson

Sivad H. Johnson

  • Sergeant
  • Detroit Fire Department
  • Michigan
  • Age: 49
  • Year of Death: 2020

Sivad believed in getting the most out of life. Raised in a Christian household, he believed in the BIBLE: Basic Instructions Before Leaving Earth. He believed in investing quality time with loved ones, and he loved serving and protecting others. His parents gave him a name to honor his heritage and foretell a future of significance. His first name is his mother Reada’s maiden name, Davis, spelled backward. His middle name, Heshimu, is a Swahili word translating to respect, honor, or courage.

Following in the footsteps of his father, William, who served as a US Army combat medic in Vietnam and 20 years with the Detroit Fire Department, Sivad became a firefighter, as did his younger brother, Jamal. Sivad earned a promotion to sergeant and numerous citations throughout his 26-year career, including the 2017 Detroit Public Safety Foundation’s Above & Beyond Awards Medal of Valor.

Sivad was a public speaker, gifted artist, and loving father of two. He had a colossal heart for people, especially his daughters, Kyndall and Hayden, and his ex-wife, Suzette. His love for the City of Detroit nurtured his team spirit and commitment to the community, leading him to design fashions extolling its virtues. As a keynote, panelist, and member of Toastmasters International, Sivad spoke to youth groups, students, and adults. He appeared on stage and national radio with The Moth, a nonprofit group dedicated to the art and craft of storytelling. He also shared inspirational messages on T-shirt designs and YouTube. One of his mottos was “Bravely do or bravely die!”

On August 21, 2020, Sivad made the ultimate sacrifice to help rescue three girls from drowning, a heroic team effort with other civilians. The City of Detroit honored him with a memorial service, a new fireboat named for him, and a Spirit of Detroit Award. The Detroit Public Safety Foundation posthumously awarded Sivad its Above & Beyond Awards Purple Heart. The Trump administration sent a letter of condolences to his family from The White House, recognizing Sivad’s “courage and selflessness” to protect and help others, representing “the best of America.”

The week before Sivad’s earthly departure, he and his daughters visited his sister Eboni’s family in Georgia. A dual goal was to have her begin editing a short manuscript he had just completed while investing quality time. He often said, “This Instant Means Everything,” a phrase he coined as an acronym for TIME. To honor his legacy, his sister posthumously published his book, Becoming A Diamond: The Strongest, Most Valuable Version of You.

  • (will not be published)

Memorial Wall

  1. There are no memory wall messages for this firefighter.