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Curtis Ray Johnson

Curtis Ray Johnson, 75, died Saturday, May 26, 2012, at the Jane Phillips Medical Center, in Bartlesville, Oklahoma. He was born Feb. 12, 1937, the son of Charley A. and Hazel Mamie (Seal) Johnson. Curt was raised in Fredericktown, Missouri.

In December, 1957, he was married to Phyllis Rolens and they had three sons.  In 1978, Curt married Judith Wilson Portman and gained another son in his family.

Curt is survived by his wife, Judy; four sons, Curtis R. II of Claremore, Oklahoma, Eddie Don of Lancaster, Texas, Patrick A.R. Rebecca of rural Nowata, Oklahoma, and Andrew K. Portman of the home; his brother, Don Johnson and wife Pat of Farmington, Missouri; eight grandchildren; several great-grandchildren; numerous nieces and nephews;  multitudes of cousins he encountered through his family research; and a host of friends including special friends, Leon and Marcia Beland and Gail Inman.

A sign by Curt’s backdoor says, “Let me live in a house by the side of the road, and be a friend to man” and that is how he chose to live his life.  He never met a stranger and never had an acquaintance because every person he encountered he considered a friend.

At age 11, he went to auctioneer school and became an instant success with his fast paced chant and personality. Among many accomplishments of which he was proud, was FFA Star Farmer his senior year of school.  He later continued his education at Missouri School of Mines in Rolla, Mo.

During his early years, Curt taught in a one room school, sold insurance, raised cattle and worked with his dad drilling wells. In about 1970 he went to work for Reda Pump, selling water well pumps in the U.S.  After several years, he moved to the international marketing department and traveled to and through 108 countries selling equipment for irrigation, municipal water supplies and off-shore platforms among other uses.  He retired from Reda in 1994.

After retirement Curt started writing an article for a Nowata newspaper and later the Chronicle of Grand Lake, Oklahoma, called “The Hogshooter Philosopher,” which he continued until his recent illness.

He loved to converse and everyone who knew him, knew him as a teller of great stories of life experiences.   An avid historian, Curt’s self published book ” The Outlaws of the Cooweescoowee” was a great source of interest for family and Oklahoma lawman and outlaw researchers. More than 1,000 copies were sold.  He loved to hunt and fish, but mostly he loved to lean on the fence and look at what nature was providing.

A very special memorial service will be announced at a later date for the family and friends.

Information in this obituary was reprinted with permission from the Nowata Star

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