RAYMOND JOHNSON

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Feb 29, 1924 - Sept 9, 2012 OKLAHOMA CITY Raymond Eugene Johnson, age 88, died Sunday, September 9, 2012, in Mercy Hospital, after suffering a stroke. A Leap Year baby, he was born February 29, 1924, on his family farm in Crescent, OK to Ivan Carl and Edith Bachelor Johnson. Raymond attended Guthrie High School, during which time he played basketball, served in ROTC and designed the Blue Jays' ROTC logo, which is still in use today. He graduated in 1943, and married his high school sweetheart, Wanda Jean Bates, in 1944, moving to Bethany and then Oklahoma City shortly thereafter. The epitome of the American Dream, Raymond was a self-made man, becoming a successful commercial builder. His myriad of building accomplishments include some of the first hotels and motels in Oklahoma, schools, armories, shopping centers, including the Village Shopping Center on May Avenue (which he also owned), as well as donating his services to aid in the building of his family's church, the Village Christian Church, Disciples of Christ. Active in the community he helped build, Raymond was a 30+ year member of the Oklahoma Executive Success Club (aka "Tip Club"), as well as serving on the Board of Silver Lake, Inc., where he built the home that he and Wanda lived in for over 40 years. Raymond loved the outdoors, whether as an avid bow, rifle and black powder hunter and fisherman, as an accomplished gardener (with some of his banana trees still growing in the Myriad Botanical Gardens), or as an ice skater, building a safe skating area in his neighborhood lake and owning over 20 pairs of ice skates so anyone could join. As a gifted artist, he also loved to paint the outdoors. Raymond also traveled extensively throughout the U.S., Europe, the Pacific and Middle East, with his wife, Wanda. A well-respected and Godly man, Raymond was always willing to help anyone in need. Devoted to his family, they could always count on him in whatever they chose to do. Although slowed by age in recent years, "Papa" remained physically active, whether helping someone with a fix-it project, teaching his great-grandchildren to fish, or enjoying his recent "22nd Leap Birthday." He was preceded in death by his parents, Ivan Carl Johnson, Edith Bachelor Johnson King, and stepfather, Shirley Malcom King; and sister, Loreta Johnson Novak. He is survived by his wife, Wanda Bates Johnson; daughter, Rae Jean Johnson; son, Ivan Johnson; granddaughters, Beth Brown Bonilla and her husband Mike, Tori Johnson Richmond and her husband Steve, and Alisa Johnson Beck and her husband Chris; grandson, Scott Brown; great-grandchildren, Garrett and Raymond Bonilla, States and Satchel Beck, and Nimue Richmond; and countless other loving family and friends. The family requests that memorial contributions be made to The Village Christian Church (http://villagechristianokc.org). Memorial service will be held on Thursday, September 13 at 1 p.m. at The Village Christian Church, 9401 Ridgeview Drive http//villagechristianokc.org , Oklahoma City (The Village), Oklahoma 73120. Interment will be at the Summit View Cemetery in Guthrie, Oklahoma. Arrangements for Raymond and his family have been placed in the care of Vondel Smith & Son Mortuary.

Published in The Oklahoman from Sept. 11 to Sept. 14, 2012
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