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National Fallen Firefighters Foundation

Roll of Honor

Firefighter
Age: 42
Year of Death: 2003

Vanclive A. Johnson

Vanclive A. Johnson was born on February 9, 1961. A native of the island of Jamaica, Firefighter Johnson grew up in Brooklyn as an All-City football player at Boys and Girls High School. He was drafted by the New England Patriots in 1984 and played one season for the team before spending the next in the Canadian Football League.

Firefighter Johnson was appointed to the New York City Fire Department (FDNY) on January 16, 1994, and served his entire 10-year career in the quarters of Ladder Company 35. He died on August 22, 2003, from an illness related to his response to the 9/11 terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center.

He is survived by his wife, Portia; daughters, Sheree and Jessica; sons, George, Vanclive, and Van; and sisters, Donzalee and Marjorie.

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  1. Dear Johnson family,

    please know Vanclive is a true HERO and we will never forget him. August 2021 is the 18th anniversary of Vanclive’s passing and he will be remembered

    – Lisa Hopman
  2. I just learned of Van “Sugar Bear” ‘s passing. He and I spent our Freshman year at Colgate. He was larger than life, never standing down to any man. I thought he was the best football player and athlete I had ever met, and I aspired to be the kind of athlete that he was.

    I am honored to have known him and to have been his friend. HERO? Hell yeah!!

    R.I.P Sugar Bear.

    – Phillip "Alan" Newsum