Furman William Johnson

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Furman William Johnson, 89, went to be with his Lord and Savior on Nov. 26, 2009, at Christian Health Care of Nevada. He was the first born of 14 children to Leslie Furman and Helen Pricilla Popanz Johnson, in Spencer, Iowa, on July 27, 1920.

He attended school in Spencer. He was a World War II veteran entering the Army Air Force on Nov. 10, 1942, at Camp Dodge, Iowa. Sergeant Johnson was at Fort Bliss, Texas, in 1943, and while there he was assigned to be the driver of Joe Louis, the world's heavy weight champion who was also in uniform.

He served more than three years, mostly on the Aleutian Islands, and Nak Nak, Alaska, in the 11th Air Force. He was injured while bombing northern Japan, losing one eye. He was discharged Nov. 23, 1945, at Greensboro, N.C. In November 1948 he was off to Pittsburg, Calif., and worked for the Corps of Engineers for five years, then quit and joined the union and worked as a carpenter. He attended and graduated from Healds Business College, in San Fransisco, Calif. Furmon was a contractor and headed the building of the John Deere plant in Iola, Kan.

He married Dorothy Meadows in 1951, in Reno, Nev. One son, Curtis Allen, was born in 1952. September 17, 1960, he and Bonnie Corene Earnest Reaves were married in Las Vegas, Nev.

At age 54 "Johnny" bought a race car, and named it "One Eyed Johnny." His first year racing he was named "Rookie of the Year" at a Stockton, Calif., race track. He then quit racing, saying it was too expensive.

In 1968, Furman and Corene moved to Iola, Kan., where he did construction work, building several homes in Iola. Later they bought a farm outside Iola and became farmers of 500 acers. He spent 16 years in Kansas before retiring.

In 1984 they moved to Stockton, Mo., where Corene had roots planted years ago. They have lived in Stockton for 23 years and recently celebrated their 47th wedding anniversary. Furman was a member of the Stockton Missionary Baptist Church.

He is survived by his wife, Corene; one son, Curtis Allen and wife Cheryl Johnson, of Morgan Hill, Calif.; three stepdaughters, Ramona Ramsey, of Pangburn, Ark., Wanda Ramsey, of Nevada, and Clara "Rae" Beck, of Springfield, Tenn.; three brothers, Robert, of Spencer, Iowa, Gary, of Denver, Colo., and Jim and Debbie Johnson, of Brady, Texas; seven sisters, June Goettsche, of Spencer, Iowa, Charlotte "Shy" Pearson, of Hartly, Iowa, Lucille Siino, of Pittsburg, Calif., Audrey Costanza and husband Horace, of Pittsburg, Calif., Mary Helen and husband John Nuovo, of Hemet, Calif., Phyllis Bates, Marylin and husband Richard Zellaha, Spencer, Iowa; sister-in-law, Beverly Johnson; five grandsons, Matthew, Benjiman, Daniel, Timothy, and Zachary Johnson, all of Morgan Hill, Calif.; two granddaughters, Elizabeth and Rebecca Johnson; two great-grandsons, Dylan and Joseph Johnson; nine stepgrandchildren, Michael Brundridge, of the state of Missouri, Sheila Goree, of Pangburn, Ark., Terry Griggs, of Maryville, Penn., Alana Gayman, Nevada, Veri Ann Ramsey, of Jerico Springs, Mo. Tamra Bargar, of the State of North Carolina, Renee Crowell, of Springfield, Tenn, Rodney Fritter, of the state of Arkansas, and Debbi Moore, of Sherman, Texas; 17 stepgreat-grandchildren; 17 stepgreat-great-grandchildren; and two very special friends who gave their time and love, Darrell and Michelle Pummel, of Stockton, Mo.

He was preceded in death by his parents; one brother, Marvin; one sister, Shirley M. Costa, and one infant sister; and step-daughter Jerri Ann Randel.

No services are planned.

Arrangements are under the direction of Brumback Funeral Home, Stockton, Mo.