Dean D. Johnson was born May 17, 1922, on a farm one mile west and two and one-fourth miles north of Wakita, Oklahoma. He was the youngest of six children born to M.M. and Jenny Elliott Johnson.
He attended Grand Valley Country School through the eighth grade and graduated from Wakita High School in 1939. Dean attended Oklahoma State University, graduating in 1942 with a Bachelor's Degree in mechanical engineering.
In October of 1942, he enlisted in the U.S. Army, where he served tours of duty in the Philippines and Japan during WWII. After his discharge in 1946, he returned home to begin farming with his father.
On August 1, 1948, he married Lorene Miller, who was working as Dr. Choice's office nurse in Wakita. The young newlyweds lived in Wakita for a short time and then moved in with Dean's parents to save money.
Eventually, Dean and Lorene purchased the Art Schuelke farm southwest of the home place and started a family. To this union were born three children: Rodney Douglas, Cindy Michele, and Bryan Harry.
Dean was a successful farmer and raised sheep and cattle for many years. In the early years, Dean went custom cutting with Paul Coulter and later with Al Hampton, traveling mainly to western Kansas and eastern Colorado. In his middle years, he and his cousin, Mont Elliott, made all of the weekly cattle sales in Caldwell, Pratt, Anthony, and Cherokee, buying cattle to fatten in the feedlot at Dodge City. Dean really enjoyed his years of being in the cattle business.
Throughout his life, Dean was an active, contributing member of his community. He was a lifelong member of the Wakita United Methodist Church. He served on multiple offices and committees over the years and dried lots of dishes! Dean was a founding board member of the Wakita Community Health Center and served on that board for 43 years. He was a Grant County FSA Committeeman for 19 years. When his children were in school, Dean served on the Wakita School Board for 15 years. Finally, Dean was on the Wakita Cemetery Board for over 50 years and spent every Memorial Day placing flags on veterans' graves.
On May 5, 2017, Dean's life on earth ended. He went on to join his family members in heaven, including his son Bryan, his parents, brothers, sisters, and many, many cousins.
Dean will be deeply missed and is survived by his wife of 68 years, Lorene; son, Rodney Johnson (Ramona); daughter, Cindy McCray (Butch); son-in-law, Mitchell Poore; grandchildren; stepgrandchildren; great-grandchildren; nieces; nephews; cousins; and friends.
Celebration of life service for Dean will be Monday, May 8, 2017 at 2 p.m. at Wakita United Methodist Church, with Rev. Lisa Anderson officiating. Burial will be in Wakita Cemetery with arrangements by Lanman Funeral Home, Inc., of Medford. Visitation will be Sunday 2 until 6 p.m. www.lanmanmemorials.com
Memorials may be made to Wakita United Methodist Church or Wakita Community Health Center through the funeral home.
Published on May 6, 2017