Richard Arnold Johnson left this life peacefully on Saturday, April 26, 2014, at Hospice of East Texas Homeplace. He was born on May 26, 1932, in Marion, Ohio, to Henry F. Johnson and Lucy Cafarelli. His mother died when he was 4 years old and he was placed in a children's home along with older sister Dorothy where they lived until 1944 when he moved to Tennessee to live with his father. His father died when he was 14 years old and he was moved around from place to place until eventually moving in with older sister, Helen and husband Bill in Cutchogue, N.Y.
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He graduated from Southhold High School in New York in 1950. Upon graduation he enlisted in the U.S. Navy where he served for four years during the Korean War as a radar operator on a seaplane in the Pacific.
He attended college at the University of Southern California prior to his employment at Lockeed Aircraft where he worked on aircraft electronics. Later he worked for the Martin Company as a start up engineer on the Titan Missile project in Denver, Colo. His last employment in aerospace was for Douglas Aircraft at Vandenburg Airforce Base. In 1965 he moved to Louisiana and got a job with Bechtel where he began work as an electrical engineer on construction of electrical power plants in the United States and also in Venezuela for two years and in Jamaica for one year. Returning to the states he began work as a start up engineer on nuclear power plants in Mississippi, Maryland, and Texas. He retired from Bechtel Construction in September 1993 from the Savanah River Nuclear Power Plant in Aiken, S.C.
He is survived by his wife of 21 years, Nancy Johnson, New Harmony; sisters: Dorothy Allan, Brewton, Ala., and Mary Lou Faggella and husband Bob, Carmichael, Calif.; daughter, Susan Johnson, Santa Maria, Calif.; sons, Mark Johnson, Santa Maria, Calif., Rodney Meeks Spring, Steve Bynum, New Harmony; and son-in-law, Larry Malone, New Harmony; grandchildren, Jamie Delozier and husband, Todd, St. Petersburg, Fla., Misty Kerr and husband, Marc, Bullard, Chris Bynum and wife, Gail, Flint, Kayla Malone, New Harmony, and Kim Mullins and husband, Tommy, Lindale. He also had nine great-grandchildren. He was preceded in death by daughters, Karen Johnson and Donna Malone; son, Randy Meeks; grandson, Justin Bynum; and sister, Helen Wickham.
Of the many accomplishments in his life, he was proudest of the opportunity to serve his Lord and Savior at the New Harmony Baptist Church. He faithfully worked on the maintenance committee for over 18 years and was still serving on that committee at the time of his death. Brother Dick taught an adult Sunday School Class for 15 years and upon resigning as teacher served as an assistant teacher. He was a Godly man who loved his church family and cherished each and every one of them. He had a special relationship with his church family but his priority relationship was with Jesus Christ. He faithfully read his Bible twice every day and spent time in prayer with his heavenly Father. He was also a member of the Gideon organization.
Pallbearers will be Steve Bynum, Chris Bynum, Larry Malone, Marc Kerr, Tommy Mullins, and David McClung. Honorary Pallbearers will be Bud Gibbs and deacons of New Harmony Baptist Church.
Brother Robbie Caldwell will officiate at the funeral service at 10 a.m. on Tuesday, April 29, 2014, at New Harmony Baptist Church with interment to follow in the New Harmony Cemetery under the direction of Caudle-Rutledge Funeral Directors in Lindale.
Family will receive friends 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Monday at the Caudle-Rutledge Funeral Home in Lindale.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Hospice of East Texas Foundation, 4111 University Blvd., Tyler, 75701.
Published in Tyler Morning Telegraph on Apr. 28, 2014
Caudle-Rutledge Funeral Directors, Inc.
206 West South Lindale, TX 75771