ST. LOUIS – A large turnout is expected Monday, January 2, as family, friends, and the community gather for a memorial service for Demetrious Johnson. The former football player and longtime volunteer and activist has left an indelible mark on St. Louis.

“What you saw in public, you saw in private,” Taylore Johnson said. “The heart that he had for other people, his generosity, he showed that with us.”

Larger than life. That’s how daughters Johnson and Ashley Johnson-Chin describe their dad.

“He just brought a lot of laughter to us and his friends and anyone he met. He just really had this charm and humor that was kind of contagious,” Johnson-Chin shared.

The two jokingly said their dad’s love language was sports, but his passion was serving the community; something they said will live on through his charity.

“We’re looking forward to continuing those programs that are helping inner-city youth and everything from mentorship, training, and connecting them with new opportunities. That is definitely that we’ll want to continue,” Johnson-Chin explained.

Another tradition they said will continue is the turkey giveaway.

“The turkey giveaway is something that he has done for over three decades. It’s something that he’s always cherished with his background, and we’re looking forward to continuing that,” Johnson said.

They revealed they wouldn’t be surprised if the arena was completely full for the service.

“Everyone looked at him as a brother, a cousin, a family member. So, I would not be surprised if it’s a really large crowd because everyone felt like that had a genuine personal connection with him,” Johnson-Chin expressed.

For more information about the funeral or to share a memory of Johnson that his family will read, click here.