William Bevan Johnson

. - Obituary Condolences
William Bevan Johnson Born July 3, 1943, passed into eternity November 14, 2013 at the age of 70. Bill was born in Pomona, California to Caleb Merton Johnson and Margaret Keating Johnson. Bill was active in the San Dimas Troop of the Boy Scouts where he earned a multitude of badges. He also attended Bonita High School where he was active in a variety of athletic activities, followed by Mt. San Antonio Community College, and eventually received his Bachelor's Degree from Chico State which led him to teach social studies, with a specific focus in U.S. History and Government. He would later acquire a Master's in School Administration from Pepperdine University. In 1969 Bill came to Kern County to teach social studies at Kern Valley High School. That teaching assignment would later translate into extensive trips to the East Coast where history would come alive in sojourns at Colonial Williamsburg, the Smithsonian Museums in D.C., Gettysburg and additional trips to the Eastern Seaboard where history was made. But what defined Bill's character beyond his love of teaching was coaching cross country and track and field. Whether at Kern Valley High School, Highland or Stockdale high schools, Bill enthusiastically threw himself into the sport. His checkered career also included stints as football and basketball coach as well as Athletic Director. What gratified him the most was his final years coaching alongside Dave Lonsinger at Stockdale High School. As he always said and believed, the sport was about the student athletes. His was an encouraging voice grounded in a deep respect for the achievement of each athlete, regardless of the finish. His greatest hope was to coach one more season, but that was not to be. However, the visit of five Stockdale athletes the night prior to his passing comforted him greatly. He is survived by his wife of 38 years, Laurel Johnson, his two furry companions Lady J and Momo D, two siblings Nancy Larson and Merton Johnson, six nieces and nephews and their families. We all know Bill is at peace, grateful for the years of service he provided to young people, and proud and humbled by the love and respect he received throughout his life. He will be profoundly missed. A memorial service will be held Saturday, December 7, 2013 at Stockdale High School's Performing Arts Center at 1:00, 2800 Buena Vista Road, Bakersfield, California. All are invited to join in celebration of this beloved coach. www.bakersfield.com/obits
Published in Bakersfield Californian on Nov. 19, 2013
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