Johnny Heyward, affectionately known as "Sweetie," departed this life Saturday, Sept. 9, 2017.

He was born on March 1, 1953, to the late Stephen and Mary Heyward. During the early years of his life, Johnny was a true example of hard work and perseverance. At a very early age, Johnny joined Orangehill AME Church, where he served faithfully as a trustee, security and a choir member. Johnny was a dedicated member, until his death. He was well known and highly respected in his community, his church and by all who knew him. Johnny had a great love for his hobbies, which included fishing, singing, grilling and watching westerns.

He leaves to cherish his fond memories, his loving and dedicated wife, Gwendolyn "Pookie" Heyward; two sons, Brian Heyward of Washington, D.C., and Bernard (Chris) Ragin of Manhattan, New York; two daughters, Yolanda (Lee) Heyward Hopewell of Dayton, Ohio, and Shavondra Heyward of Virginia Beach, Virginia; two special "babies," Shamania and Kh-marion Smart of Laurel, Maryland, a spiritual daughter, Jasmine Brown; five grandchildren, Brianna, Sabria, Brian Jr., Imani and Lee Jr.; four brothers, Willie (Lizzie) Heyward of Paxville, Joseph (Joy) Heyward of Columbia, and Alan Heyward and Bernard Heyward, both of Wedgefield; five sisters, Martha Wilson and Marie Heyward of Wedgefield, Elizabeth (Willie) Martin of Sumter, Janie Brown of Stateburg and Bernice (Roger) Mullins of Sumter; father-in-law, Robert Goodman Sr.; four sisters-in-law, Pastor Mary Jane Ragins and Angela (Shawn) Foxworth of Sumter, Rebecca G. Lynch of Charlotte and Valerie Goodman of Columbia; three brothers-in-law, Pastor James F. (Tonya) Goodman, Robert L. Goodman and Curtis (Mary) Miller, all of Sumter; a devoted best friend, Fletcher Leaf; two aunts, Annie Mae Owens of Baltimore and Hattie Washington Duncan of Wedgefield; a host of nieces, nephews, loved ones and friends.

He was preceded in death by his parents, the late Stephen and Mary Heyward; a son, Terrence Heyward; two sisters, Earline Bennett and Mary Richbow; one brother, Edward Heyward; five nephews, Orlando and Farion Brown, Sherman Broughton, Joe Richbow Jr. and Cornell Heyward; one sister-in-law, Loretta Heyward; and a mother-in-law, Helen Goodman.

Public viewing will be held from 2 to 6 p.m. today at Job's Mortuary.

Mr. Heyward will be placed in the church at 10 a.m. on Saturday for viewing until the hour of service.

Funeral service will be held at 11 a.m. on Saturday at Orangehill AME Church, Wedgefield, with Pastor Harry Burns officiating. Interment will follow at Hillside Memorial Park.

The family will be receiving friends at the home of his sister-in-law, 34 Dollard Drive, Sumter.

Job's Mortuary Inc., 312 S. Main St., Sumter, is in charge of arrangements.

Online memorials may be sent to the family at or visit us on the web at