Tom Johnson Memorial Scholarship

Tom (TJ) Johnson was born in Zanesville in 1954 and lived here throughout his life. After graduating from Zanesville High School in 1972, he obtained a degree in law enforcement; however his true love was business. His entrepreneurship started when he was very young. Before the age of 16, he made money in many ways, including selling apples, mowing grass and delivering newspapers.

When he was 16 years old, he began working for Domino's Pizza, “where his blood was replaced with pizza sauce”. Tom started as a delivery driver and held every position possible before he became a franchisee in 1978 with the Domino's East location. When he passed away, he was a franchisee of 12 stores. He was truly loved by past and present employees, as his strong work ethic and ability to lead by example gained him the respect of all who worked for him.

Tom was an avid bowler, golfer, and softball player for most of his life. Throughout his bowling career, he earned many awards and bowled several 300 games.

Family was always number one in Tom’s life. He and his wife raised two daughters. He always maintained a strong balance between work and family because he believed that without family, you have nothing. His family was his true success!

At the age of 54, Tom was diagnosed with a fast growing brain tumor. When diagnosed, Tom felt he had lived life to its fullest and had no regrets. A man known for his incredible love for people and unmatchable sense of humor, he kept his spirit throughout his battle with cancer. Because he made a significant impact on Zanesville, many people worked together and sold enough tickets to “Zanesville Night at the Cincinnati Reds” for Tom to deliver the first ball onto the Red’s pitcher’s mound. Many people helped him to live a life long dream that night.

Tom passed away on February 26, 2009 at the age of 55.

This scholarship was established to honor Tom’s memory, his sense of humor, his love for his family, his love of sports, and the value he placed in education. He considered himself a late bloomer; as his most successful school days were in college. He was known for his “go get ‘em, never give up” attitude.

To fund this scholarship each year, the friends and family of Tom Johnson host the ''TJ 5K'' in his honor. Go to to learn about future events.

  • • Special Preference given to Zanesville High School students.
  • • The applicant should have a true love for life, a fantastic work ethic, a great sense of humor, and true respect for their family.
  • • All applicants must be 2023 graduates of a Muskingum County high school.
  • • Recipients will be student athletes from the following sports: golf, bowling, or softball.

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