Richard M. "Dick" Johnson died at home on Dec. 27, 2016, in Tehachapi. He was 88.
Dick was born in Banning on Aug. 26, 1928, as the youngest of six children to Walter and Sarah Johnson. When his father purchased a newspaper business, the family soon followed him and moved to Tehachapi in 1945, where he has called his permanent residence ever since. He graduated from Tehachapi High School; however, his senior year was cut short by enlisting in the U.S. Navy in February 1946. With training in communications intelligence, he served in French Morocco for 14 months before being honorably discharged.
Upon returning to the U.S., Dick continued his education at Bakersfield College, where he met the love of his life, Joan Peacock. After three weeks, Dick proposed, though it took a few more months for Joan to say yes. They were married Aug. 12, 1950, and have been inseparable ever since. They were thrilled to welcome daughter, Jana Lynn, in October 1955, followed several years later by son, Scott Richard, in June 1963.
Dick and his brother Warren worked at the Tehachapi News alongside their father for several years, before taking over ownership. After 30-plus years in the newspaper business, Dick sold the Tehachapi News; he then owned and operated Johnson Printing, which was eventually taken over by his son, Scott.
Dick was well known in the Tehachapi community throughout his life and was very involved in promoting and improving the town he loved. He was an avid THS Warrior fan and enjoyed attending games of all kinds, in all kinds of weather, but especially those in which one of his children or grandchildren was participating. In fact, he was honored for his constant support by the Warrior Boosters in 2008, when they dedicated the press box at the THS football field in his name. His never-ending devotion to his wife of 66 years, Joan, and his love and pride in his children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren was evident in every conversation he had until the very end.
He is survived by his loving wife, Joan, of Tehachapi; daughter, Jana Clow of Lynden, Wash.; son and daughter-in-law, Scott and Pam Johnson of Tehachapi; grandson, Matthew Clow of Lynden; granddaughter and her husband, Megan and Ryan Van Diest of Lynden; grandson, Christopher of Chicago, Ill.; granddaughter, Samantha Johnson of Los Alamitos; and grandson, Alec Johnson of Huntington Beach. Also, great-grandchildren, Kyler, Brenyn and Jace Van Diest of Lynden. He was preceded in death by his parents, Walter and Sarah Johnson; and siblings, Jean Hansen, Elsie Laversin, Warren Johnson, Mary Pooley and Margie Finley.
Private interment with military honors took place at Bakersfield National Cemetery in Arvin on Friday, Dec. 30, followed by a Celebration of Life at 11 a.m., at the Wood Family Funeral Service Chapel.
The family asks that in lieu of flowers, friends and family make a donation to the charity of their choice. Wood Family Funeral Service has been entrusted with his care. For condolences, please visit woodmortuary.net.