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Howard Wesley Johnson


1931 - 2016 Obituary Condolences
Howard Wesley Johnson Obituary

Howard Wesley Johnson, of Yuba City, a retired Professor of Music, passed away on December 30, 2016. During his more than twenty years at Yuba College he taught music theory, music history, piano, and jazz studies.

A native of Omaha, Nebraska, Howard was born on June 23, 1931 to parents Reuben and Ruth Johnson. At an early age, he showed an aptitude for playing the piano and seemed destined for a career in music. After serving in the U.S. Air Force during the Korean War, he earned his professional degrees, including a Bachelors of Music Education and a Master of Music from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. While engaged in his doctoral studies at the University of North Texas, he served as a teaching fellow. His teaching experience included public school vocal and instrumental music in Nebraska, and professorships at both the University of Northern Iowa and Cameron University in Lawton, Oklahoma. Howard had an extensive background in accompanying various genres of music, including oratorio, opera, art song, and jazz. He was the Chorus Master for the Omaha Civic Opera and pianist for the same organization. He had many performances to his credit, including numerous symphonic solo appearances, as well as musical theatre productions and nightclub acts.

His wife, Joaquina Calvo Johnson, the love of his life and musical partner of nearly 34 years, preceded him in death. He was also bereaved of his daughter, Terese Johnson Atkins, who died at 25 in an automobile accident, and of his parents.

He is survived by brother Ronald Johnson, sister Marylinn Gregory Smith (Andy Smith), sons Marc Johnson (Eliane Elias) and Miles Johnson (Gwynne), six grandchildren Francesca, Gunnar, Chase, Trace, Ian and Piper, sister-in-law Mary Jane Calvo (William Calvo deceased), cousins, nephews, nieces, many friends and former students, and his canine companion, Ohne ein Lied ("Without a Song"). All will remember fondly his sense of humor, his keen intellect, and his appreciation for excellence and beauty in the arts.

A memorial service will be held at Faith Lutheran Church in Marysville, on Saturday, February 11, 2017 at 11am. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that contributions be made to the Yuba Sutter Master Chorale, the Joaquina and Howard Johnson Music Scholarship established in the Yuba College Foundation, and Yuba Sutter Arts.

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Published in Appeal Democrat from Feb. 2 to Feb. 5, 2017
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