Otis Wesley Johnson

1930 - 2018 Obituary Condolences
Otis Wesley Johnson Obituary

Otis Wesley Johnson
September 1, 1930 - November 18, 2018

On November 18th dad gave one more fist in the air for victory and decided his job here was done, it was a job well done.

Otis "Wes" was born in Roaring Springs, Texas to Myrtle and Otis Karo Johnson. Shortly after Myrtle died during childbirth, Otis, at the age of 9 migrated to California with his father, 2 uncles and 4 siblings, Vivian, Verna, Thomas "TJ" and Lee. Traveling in a modified Model T Ford truck in the midst of the Dust Bowl, the trip took months as they had to work along the way to fund the trip and survive. What an adventure it must have been. After arriving in California they found work in the fields from Bakersfield to Oregon and lived in tents, boxcars, or whatever shelter they could find.

At the age of 20 after spending much of his childhood working and getting a minimum amount of schooling, he volunteered to serve his country in the US Army. From 1950-1954 he fought on the front line in Korea and served as a military prison guard in Georgia.

Shortly after his service ended he began what would be a 34 year career with the US Postal Service. In 1957 he met a beautiful young woman named Billie Jean in a cafe in Shafter, CA. They married, settled in Bakersfield, and had five children, Jeannine, Wesley, Deanna, Calleen, and Eric.

Wes also known as "Slick" to family and friends, enjoyed campfires, fishing, golfing, woodworking, and Friday night poker. He was a little league baseball coach and diehard Dodgers fan.

But most of all he was "Dad" and "Papa" and believed nothing was more important than family and keeping them together. He did all he could to raise the kids, not without some resistance, and spent many of his 32 years of retirement traveling to the Northwest and overseas to be with them. Dad's family has now blossomed to 14 grandchildren, 17 great grandchildren and many more that know him as Papa.


A Celebration of Life service and reception will be at Greenlawn SW, 2739 Panama Lane, on December 10th at 1:30 pm. Prior to the service there will also be a military honor at the National Cemetery on East Bear Mountain Blvd and Hwy 58 at 10:45 am for those who would like to attend.

Published in Bakersfield Californian from Dec. 6 to Dec. 9, 2018
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