Willis Return JOHNSON



JOHNSON, Willis Return
July 28, 1927 - November 19, 2012

Retired United States Air Force Master Sargent Willis (Bill) Return Johnson slipped peacefully away into the arms of the Angels. His departure to his next mission occurred at 8:15 am., Monday November 19, 2012 at Doctors Medical Center in San Pablo, California. He was surrounded by family members at the time of his passing.
Bill was born to Willis Milton Johnson and Henrietta Victoria CAREY Johnson of Cheswold Delaware.
Bill was the oldest of six children, having been preceded in death by his sister Calanthia Johnson, brother Charles Johnson and sister Ardella 'Dell' JOHNSON Durham (Clinton Durham Sr. of Cheswold, Delaware). He is survived by his sister Dolores JOHNSON Carney Rivera of Kingman, Arizona; and brother Stanley Johnson (Patricia Johnson) of Felton Delaware. He also is survived by six nephews: Pete Carney (of Arizona), Clinton Jr., Steve, and Keith Durham, (of Delaware) Michael, and Jason Johnson (of Delaware); as well as numerous grand nieces and nephews.
Bill was a full blooded Native American from the Lenape Indian Tribe of Delaware as was also of a member of the tribe. His Native name is 'Thunder One.'
He is survived by an ex-wife, two daughters who are, Paula Wimmer (her husband Chris) and their three children Christian, Rebekah, and Naomi of Pinole, California. He is also survived by Brenda Odle, her daughters Dena Walls (her husband Fred) and Michelle Roseman-Yeo (her husband Mark) both of El Cerrito, California. Bill had the pleasure of 4 great-grandchildren - Antonio and Julian Walls and Charles and Juliet Sutherland. His grandchildren all know him as 'Grandpa Dude/Gramps' and his Great-Grandchildren know him as 'Pop Pop.'
Bill was a World War II veteran. His military service took him to Germany, North Africa, Turkey, and various other United States Air Forces Bases. Upon entry into the service, his training took him into the field of weather service of the Army Air Corps. He provided weather analysis and reporting for air traffic. After a few years of this service, he was transferred to a secret mission where he provided analysis on the use of Special Weapons. To his departing day, his special weapons work was never spoke of. He had the highest degree of integrity and never divulged this top secret clearance work.
After retirement from the Service, he lived in numerous locations that included, Las Vegas, Nevada, Lake Havasu and Topock Arizona, Anacortes, Washington, Sacramento, Larkspur, and West Sacramento, California. He loved to travel as well as attend jazz festivals, bluegrass and western swing events, car races, Baseball games as well as Spring training. Bill was very outgoing and he never met a stranger.
Bill was a person that lived life to its fullest. If there was something that needed to be done, it was done.
He will be missed dearly. As his family says, NO words could describe him; you had to 'experience him.'
The family wishes that in lieu of any flowers, that donations be made in his honor to the . Gravesite services are pending.


Published in The Sacramento Bee on Nov. 25, 2012