Funeral operator must produce credentials

I am the aunt of Messiah Steven Wynn; the sister of my nephew’s father [Funeral scammer loose in Austin?, March 11]. My mother went to every meeting with Sharmaine Sykes and Frederica to speak with Mr. Johnson. The funeral didn’t go how we wanted it to go and it wasn’t how a funeral is supposed to be conducted. Who is this man and what exactly is he licensed to do? This is the second infant death that he has handled in my family in the last two years. What family wouldn’t want to know the whereabouts of their deceased loved one? To Mrs. Stephanie Johnson: I understand that’s your husband and your going to have his back but how dare you call someone miserable? We just lost a loved one. Answer this for me: What exactly is your husband licensed to do? How is he able to transport bodies? This is ludicrous. Who is this guy? I came all the way from Atlanta for my nephew’s funeral and I get back home and find out about this is very sad.

To Mr. Johnson’s other supporter: I didn’t get specific and didn’t know I had to but my in-laws used Devell/Lavell Johnson for an infant’s death prior to this occasion. At my nephew Messiah’s repast is where both sides of the family discovered we had used this same Devell/Lavell Johnson guy for funeral services, and I’m not going to comment about what happened with those arrangements. Who are you and what do you know about any of this. Since it’s so simple and easy¡ªproduce the license!?!?! This is the piece of paper that can end this confusion. For all I know you could just as well be Devell/Lavell Johnson. If you are, just produce your credentials. Why wouldn’t a person want to prove that these allegations against them are false? He’s not being honest about something. He has made funeral arrangements, he has transported bodies, and god knows what else¡ªall without a license. If he has one, prove it.

Porcha S. Wynn
Submitted at


Johnson did wrong despite his good deeds

The road to hell is paved with good intentions. Although Mr. Johnson has done great things for many of you in the community, the fact remains that he is conducting business without the proper credentials required by the state of Illinois. Therefore, consequently, he is wrong and breaking the law. My advice to you, Mr. Johnson: if you love doing what you do to help others, take the time to get licensed. My condolences go out to the Sykes family for your loss and an unfortunate experience.

J.L. Trammell
Submitted at

Johnson has done great things for families

Mr. Terry Dean, I had seen this man do great things for family’s in need. Mr. Terry, you need to find out more about what this family really wants. I think you are a very sad person, and I will be glad to meet you¡ªanytime or anywhere¡ªto talk about this more. What are the real facts?

Freddie Harris
Submitted at

Authorities need to investigate funeral operator

While we thank the Austin Weekly News for informing us of a funeral scammer on the loose, I think this should be reported to the Attorney General and the office of the Cook County State’s Attorney so that they can begin a probe.

Ms. Coleman
Submitted at

Someone shoud investigate accusers

I would like to come to Devell Johnson’s defense. He is a wonderful, caring individual. He performed services my baby in 2007. He kept me up on everything that was being done. Whoever these individuals are with the negativity needs to stop. Maybe someone should investigate the scam they may have going. Maybe things are so bad they are trying to extort money. Also, if they did not like the services they should have found someone else. I did not have any problems or concerns with Devell Johnson.

Schmeka Yancy
Submitted at

Answers needed concerning Messiah

Mr. Johnson knows what happened is true, just as well as my family members. What my family doesn’t know is where he kept my little cousin for a week? Any there are plenty more unanswered questions.

Johnetta Beck
Submitted at

Allegations against Johnson are true

I can’t speak on what a good job Mr. Johnson did or didn’t do for those of you who have commented on the article about him. But I know that everything is true because I was there. I contacted the Austin Weekly News. I know what an unprofessional job he did for my family. And what’s ludicrous is that Mr. Johnson has been getting away far too long. The allegations are true. I’m glad Mr. Johnson did a “good job” on other families so that those families didn’t have to experience what the family of baby Messiah Steven Wynn is going through, and went through in our hours of bereavement and right now. My family is very disturbed with the way we were scammed and believe justice will be served.

Sharmaine Sykes
Submitted at

¡®Scam’ allegations unbelievable

I think someone is trying to B-S Mr. Johnson. He is very professional and did two very important funerals in my family, one being my mother a few weeks ago. My mother’s funeral was amazing; standing room only. We love Mr. Johnson and support him 100 percent. Don’t believe a word of it.

Cassandra Hammond-Murray
Submitted at