obituary from Elaine Bay
1922 - 2009
HOWE - Funeral services for Phillip Johnson will be held at 2 p.m. Thursday,
Sept. 24 in the Howe Church of Christ, Toby Soechting of the church will
officiate. Burial with military honors by the U.S. Marine Corps will
be held at Akers Cemetery. Phillip went to be with his Father in
Heaven and left his earthly shell with its pain and heartache on Sept.
Phillip began his earthly life on July 22, 1922 in Albany, Okla.,
born to Lydia Adelia and Alonzo Henry Johnson. He was preceded in
death by his parents, and three sisters, Minnie Jewel (Johnnie) Thomas,
Mildred Boone, and Ruth Johnson. Mr. Johnson is survived by his wife
of 62 years and 8 months, Fern L. Johnson of the home; daughter, Phyllis
Thornton; grandchildren, Justin G. Thornton and Jennifer D. Thornton; and
two great-grandchildren, Katrina and Alyssa, all of Edmond, Okla.
Phillip served his country as a Marine during World War II.
His duty carried him through most of the Pacific Theater, including the
battle of Okinawa. After the war, Phillip returned to Sherman and
married his longtime sweetheart, Fern Smith on Jan. 26, 1947. After
the wedding, Fern and Phillip attended North Texas State University, the
University of Texas at Austin, and Austin College. Phillip graduated
from Austin College in 1952. During this time, Fern and Phillip's
daughter was born.
Phillip worked for Sherman Manufacturing Co. as well as many other
places to support his family while attending Austin College. Upon
graduation, he was hired by Texas Seismograph Co. and subsequently Rayflex
Oil Exploration Co. where he worked as their chief computer. The
family lived in six states and many towns in those states during the five
years he was so employed.
In 1957, Phillip and Fern began teaching school. They taught
2-1/2 years in Texas and then 16 years in Yuma, Ariz. In the summers
and also during a sabbatical from Arizona, they attended East Texas State
University (Now TAMU at Commerce). Phillip earned a master?s degree
and completed all the course work for a doctorate in biology. He
worked on his doctorate while holding a teaching fellowship.
While living in Arizona, Phillip raised quarter horses as a hobby
and enjoyed riding horses with his daughter. Fern and Phillip gave
Phyllis this support in enjoying something she had always dreamed of doing.
Phillip and Fern retired from teaching in 1977 to work a farm they
had purchased near Howe. They raised cattle and grew wheat, corn,
and milo. In 1987, Phillip and Fern moved to the Florida Keys and
lived there off and on for seven years. Phil was fond of fishing,
swimming, and boating and the Keys made a perfect playground. He
really enjoyed catching dolphin, sailfish, yellowtail, etc.
Phillip and Fern returned to their home in Howe in 2001 and remained
there until he succumbed to the ravages of time and peripheral artery disease.
While Phillip was attending Austin College in the 1950s, he declared
his faith in Jesus Christ as the Son of God and was baptized in the name
of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit for the remission of his sins.
He continued to walk in the light of his faith in God, Jesus, and the Spirit
throughout his life. His family looks forward with the hope that
is ours through our Lord, Jesus Christ, to the day we will be reunited
to live together forever with God, our Father>
The family will rece4ive friends from 5-7 p.m. Wednesday at Waldo
Funeral Home. The online register book can be signed at waldofuneralhome.com.
Memorials may be made to the Boles Children?s Home at 7065 Love, Quinlan,
TX 75474.----The Herald Democrat, Sept 23, 2009