George Joseph Johnson, a former resident of Pawhuska, Okla., passed away on Oct. 31, 2013, in Toledo, Ohio.
He was born on Feb. 22, 1939, in Hominy, Okla., the son of Luke Johnson and Grace Griffith Johnson of Pawhuska. He was the grandson of J.L. Johnson and Blanche Johnson, also of Pawhuska and also of Fanny Soodey Griffith and George Griffith of Dallas.
He was preceded in death by his wife, Jean Johnson.
Growing up as the son and grandson of funeral directors, George continued in this tradition throughout his life. He served in the U.S. Army Corp as a Food Inspector in France and attained the rank of Sergeant. He received an A. A. from Lee Jr. College in Baytown, Texas, and then served as an Apprentice at the Johnson Funeral Home in Pawhuska. He attended Central State College in Guthrie for two years and in 1968 received his Diploma from the Dallas School of Mortuary Science.
He lived in Texas and Indiana, then returned to Oklahoma and worked in Smith’s Funeral home in Sapulpa and as supply for funeral directors on vacation in Oklahoma. Prior to his last illness, he owned his own funeral home in Eufaula, a dream he had carried for many years.
George was a member of WahSha She Lodge in Pawhuska. While living in Indiana, he was active in the Veterans of Foreign Wars and became Commander of Post 7881 in Hessville, Ind. He designed funeral service and embalming equipment and enjoyed general and finished carpentry. Next to his professional work(always his first love), woodworking and landscaping were his favorite pastimes.
His daughter, Kimberly Johnson Cross, son-in-law Michael Cross, and son, John David Johnson, survive George. He is also survived by his sister Ruth Frances Board; brother-in-law John Paul Board; niece Jennifer Board; and nephew the Rev. Paul Board and his wife Lori Board. Other survivors include George’s grandniece Sarah Grace Board; grandnephews John Michael and Eric Paul Board, all of who gave much support to George during his illness; and many cousins from the Johnson and Griffith roots.
Services will be held at St. Thomas Episcopal Church in Pawhuska. Viewing of the body will be in the foyer of the church from 10 a.m. -12 noon on Saturday, Nov. 16. The funeral service will begin at 1 p.m., followed by burial at the Pawhuska Cemetery.
In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to WahSha She Masonic Lodge in Pawhuska. Funeral arrangements are under the direction of Smith Funeral Chapel, 1208 S. Main St., Sapulpa, Okla.