Foodies, Food Truck Community Mourns Death of Well-Loved Food Truck Owner

Joseph "Big Joe" Johnson, the owner of the Slap Yo Mama food truck passed away on Thursday morning, triggering a outpouring of grief from fellow food truck owners and foodies all over the Southland.

Johnson, whose soul food truck frequently joined the weekly food truck gathering at the Cerritos Babies R Us on Wednesday nights, was well known for his larger than life smile and warm-hearted spirit. He passed away at 1:47 a.m. on May 30, 2013 and leaves behind wife Valerie and children, Jaylon and Jayda.

A memorial fund has been established online to help the family and assist in Johnson's memorial service.

On Thursday, Johnson's children posted about her father's passing on the Slapyo Mama truck's Facebook page.

July 27, 1975 a man, a dad, a best friend was born. then last night 1:47 am May 30 2013 was lost my dad Joseph Johnson he was literally the best guy in the world ever and i love him sooo much he made up songs for me when i was only 5, called me hus littlest lamb, citygirl, ladybee, and i can still hear him whispering to me i love you. he will always be with me and i love him so much. he has been there for me ever since i was born and never left he is still with me i cant see him but i can hear, feel, and love him froeever. and i know he loves me just as much. RIP Slapyo Mamatruck i love you. -- Jayda Johnson

Last night at 1:47am I lost my best friend,my dad Joseph Johnson Slapyo Mamatruck. He was my best friend who I could tell anything too. He taught me everything he knows. I miss him so much,but he's still in my heart. I am apart of him he is apart me and I know my dad saw himself in me that's why he loved to spoil me. I know my dad is in peace now it's hard for me to do this because my dad was a huge part of my life. He was the funniest person you'd ever meet. I would tell him secrets and he would tell me a bunch of stories from when he was a kid. He trusted me with all of his passwords to his facebook,twitter,instagram,etc. because he knew he could trust me with anything. He was the best dad in the world and nobody cared that he was over weight because he had a huge heart.RIP dad you'll always be remembered. I remember when I was younger my dad used to go to work a lot and he would tell me ''I need you to be the man of the house while I'm gone'' and that's what I have to be right now. -- Jaylon Johnson

Fellow food truck owners and organizers as well as local foodies also turned to Facebook to express their grief over Johnson's passing.

Sad day today we lost a food truck owner and a good friend. You will be miss Big Joe... Slap Yo Slapyo Mamatruck... Love you bro RIP.. -- Maita K., organizer of Atomic Eats Food Truck Fest in Cerritos

I just had the Snoop Cristo last night .. My prayers and condolences to the family -- Janayre Bee

We lost Big Joe from Slap Yo Mama today. If ya'll ever had a chance to meet the man and his family runnin the truck ya'll know that he always was smilin and treatin ya right. -- Ragin Cajun On Wheels Food Truck



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