Eugene Johnson

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Eugene E. Johnson, 86, of Mule Creek, New Mexico passed away at his residence on Saturday, September 14, 2013 after a short battle with lung cancer. A viewing will take place Tuesday, September 17 from 3 – 6 p.m. at Bright Funeral Home Chapel in Silver City, NM. A graveside service will be held at Duncan City Cemetery in Duncan, Ariz., at 1 p.m. Arizona time, 2 p.m. New Mexico time on Wednesday, September 18, 2013 with Mr. Floyd Robertson officiating. Fellowship immediately following services at First Baptist Church on Main Street in Duncan Ariz. Gene was born October 17, 1926 to George and Almar Johnson at the family homestead in Johnsonville, NM, the youngest of 11 children. He grew up helping on the family farm and also worked as a cowboy for the Lazy B Cattle Company near Duncan, Ariz.. There were times on the Lazy B that his job extended to babysitting the owners' daughter, Sandra Day O'Connor. He graduated from Duncan High School in 1944. He joined the Army in December 1944 and served as a Motor Transport Officer for the 153RD Engineers Construction Battalion. In August 1945 after the atomic bomb was dropped on Hiroshima, he was assigned to clean up until his honorable discharge in November 1946. After he returned from the war, he attended an Electrical Trade School in Chicago, Illinois. That training allowed him to gain employment with the ASARCO mine in Hanover NM. On September 15, 1948 Gene married the love of his life, Vonnie Fulcher. They missed celebrating their 50th wedding anniversary by six months due to Vonnie's death in March, 1998. In 1948, Gene and Vonnie moved to Mule Creek and started their family and ranching life together. Gene became partners with Lew Wilkinson, forming the Wilkinson & Johnson Ranch, until 1973. He then became partners with his son, Buddy Johnson, and formed the Johnson & Johnson Ranch until 1990. In 1990, Gene and Vonnie moved to the Bull Farm on Mule Creek. Gene's 65 years on Mule Creek proved there was nothing this special man was not capable of doing …. rancher, TV repairman, electrician, carpenter, mechanic, water witch, well driller, fence builder, ferrier, equipment operator … and loved being the community barber. He was also a part time road grader operator for the Grant County Road Department until his retirement in 1997. Gene was a wonderful husband, father and grandfather. He was also a wonderful friend and neighbor to many. He never met a stranger and was friendly and nice to everyone. Gene would always help Vonnie with the canning, knitting sweaters/afghans, skinning animal furs. There was nothing he loved more than square dancing with Vonnie. He even agreed to take a Cruise ONLY because square dancing was involved. His love for the past 15 years was playing the card game Knock with good friends. He loved to cook and made the best chocolate cake in the country. His favorite past time was to sit at his computer reading the news, looking at Facebook and playing Solitaire. He planted a beautiful garden every summer for 63 years. Gene never wanted to go on vacation because he said he "lived in the most beautiful place on earth." He was the most common-sense person you would ever meet in your life, and was very proud of that fact. Gene was truly one of a kind. The BEST kind! Gene is survived by his son, Buddy Johnson and his wife Merrie Nell, of Mule Creek; daughter, Tammy Johnson, of Mule Creek; grandson Kenny Johnson and his wife Kate, of Animas; grandson Randy Johnson and his wife Stacey of Bushland, Texas; granddaughter Talissa Herbon and her husband Ryan of Silver City; grandson Coye Cooper and his wife Johna of Silver City. Eight great grandchildren, Trae Johnson, Tera Johnson, McKenna Johnson, Garret Johnson, Collin Johnson, Cooper Herbon, Jaycee Herbon and Chance Cooper. One great great grandson, Sawyer Johnson. Preceding him in death were both parents, eight brothers, three sisters and his wife, Vonnie. The loss of Gene Johnson is a tremendous loss, not only for his family that loved him, but also for his friends living in his beloved Mule Creek community. Pallbearers: Kenny Johnson, Randy Johnson, Coye Cooper, Ryan Herbon, Cody Wetzel, Jerry Wilson, Duke Cooper. In lieu of flowers, make donations to New Mexico Childrens Home, 1356 NM236, Portales NM 88130. Bright Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements. 210 W. College Ave., Silver City, NM 88061, 575-388-1911. "Tradition Services and Care for your Family and Friends."
Funeral Home
Bright Funeral Home
210 West College Avenue
Silver City, NM 88061
(505) 388-1911
Published in Las Cruces Sun-News on Sept. 18, 2013
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