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Ray Johnson Obituary

Ray Eugene Johnson
Ray Eugene Johnson

March 3, 1929 - June 5, 2018
Born in Pauls Valley, OK
Resided in Salinas, CA
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Obituary

Ray passed peacefully at 89 with his family surrounding him. He was born in Pauls Valley, OK. This area was not in the dust bowl. His father, John Thomas, and mother, Hattie Belle, raised their family while farming there. Hattie passed at the age of 52 when Ray was 6. There is a rose bush gone wild still where the house stood.

Ray was the youngest child of eleven surviving children. Several of the Johnson family siblings began coming West in the mid 1930’s. Ray, along with most of the remaining siblings, joined them in 1938 when he was 8 years old. They drove over 1500 miles in a Model T with perseverance and dignity and a willingness to do what they had to do to live through the last of those Depression days.

They stopped in Delano, where Ray's two older brothers were already working in the cotton fields. The family started picking cotton the afternoon they arrived after a week of driving, Ray included. A while later, some of the family moved to Salinas, the Salinas Valley, and into the San Joaquin Valley. In the Salinas Valley, the three older brothers started working with Tom Merrill, Sr., as did Ray when he was old enough.
He attended Spreckels Elementary and Washington Junior High Schools where he would meet Louise Mori in the 8th grade, later to be his wife of seventy years (1948-2018). From Washington Jr. High, they graduated from Salinas High School in 1947.

Ray was a very active sportsman throughout his life. In high school he played football. As an adult he hunted in the Coalinga area for deer and wild pig. He would pull the Ranger to the Nacimiento and San Luis Reservoirs, wherever the weather was better. He enjoyed boating and water skiing with the small outboard boat that he built, as well as the Chris Craft inboard, which was his pride and joy. He spent the last several years fishing in his Ranger, a sporty fishing boat he customized to his own liking. He also took up golf at the Salinas Golf and Country Club, and played out there with Louise and other friends.

Ray was an active Salinas #614 Elks member for 40 years. He participated in many of the events and fund raisers within the organization.

Ray is survived by wife, Louise, and his two daughters: (Tina) Christine Louise McCracken, RD and (Tricia) Patricia Rae Buckmaster PhD (Robert). There are, of course, many nieces and nephews.

This Johnson Family is gone now. Ray's brothers and sisters and their spouses have all passed before him. He was the last. Ray's passing ends the long legacy of this family. They worked long, hard hours and on the weekend, a phone call would summon them all to a potluck dinner they shared.

Per Ray’s request, there will be no services. He wished that we would go forward with our memories.

We daughters, nieces, and nephews are all very proud to come from such a staunch, dynamic family where, naturally, we would· only do our best.

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Funeral Home
Struve and Laporte Funeral Home
41 West San Luis Street
Salinas, CA US 93901