Born Thursday, October 8, 1942
Died Thursday, February 6, 2020
Curtis Gene Johnson, age 77, passed away peacefully in his home on February 6, 2020. Curtis was born October 8, 1942, in Fort Gibson, Oklahoma, to Herbert and Juanita Johnson.
Curtis graduated from Fort Gibson High School in 1960. As a student, he participated in basketball, baseball, track, FFA, and was president of his senior class. During his senior year, football returned to Fort Gibson. Curtis played and set a record for most touchdowns scored in a game. He continued his football and education at Connors State in Warner, Oklahoma.
In 1962 Curtis joined the Air Force and achieved the rank of Staff Sargent as an inflight refueler for the Strategic Air Command. He served in the 9th Air Force Refueling Squadron at Mountain Home, Idaho, and the 11th Air Force Refueling Squadron in Altus, Oklahoma. Curtis was part of the KC135 Stratotanker Crews completing “Young Tiger” assignments in the Vietnam War area. Curtis was a member of the Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma and was awarded the “Cherokee Warrior” Medal of Patriotism.
On August 18, 1962, Curtis married Thrissa Anne Scaggs. They had three daughters: Cheri’ Lynn Johnson, Rachelle Sue Johnson, and Jeanne Anne (Johnson) Lewis. With time they added Matt Lewis and Sarah Markovits to the family and grandchildren John David Lewis and Claire Rose Lewis. One of the most memorable family adventures was the restoration of Roselawn, an 1859 house on the National Historical Register. Curtis and Thrissa opened the restored home for tours in the community and for high school students.
Curtis returned to school and completed his B.S. in Education at The University of Oklahoma, a M.S. in Education at Northeastern State University, and a Certificate of Education Administration from Oklahoma State University. Curtis began his career as a coach and science teacher for both the Amarillo, Texas, and Broken Arrow, OK, Public Schools. He soon moved into administration as Assistant Principal for Central Middle School in Broken Arrow, OK; Principal for Perkins-Tryon High School in Perkins, OK; and Principal for Fort Gibson High School in Fort Gibson, OK. Curtis culminated his education career as Director of Operations for Fort Gibson Public Schools and retired in June of 2004.
Curtis is preceded in death by his father, Herbert Ray Johnson, his mother Cora Juanita (Godfrey) Johnson, his brothers Jimmy Lee Johnson and Danny Ray Johnson, and his sister Shelly Johnson. He is survived by his best friend and wife of 57 years, Thrissa Anne (Scaggs) Johnson; his daughters Cheri’ Lynn Johnson, Rachelle Sue Johnson, and Jeanne Anne (Johnson) Lewis; his grandchildren John David Lewis and Claire Rose Lewis; his sister Kay Lynn (Johnson) Caldwell; and numerous in-laws, nephews, nieces, and friends.
Curtis was a lifelong member of the United Methodist Church and a current member of the First United Methodist in Fort Gibson, OK. Viewing for Curtis will be noon to 7:00 PM Monday, February 10, 2020 at Clifford D Garrett Family Funeral Home in Fort Gibson. The funeral service will be held at 11:00 AM on Tuesday, February 11, 2020 at the Fort Gibson United Methodist Church, 302 Beauregard St, Fort Gibson, OK. Committal prayers and interment will follow at the Cherokee Citizens National Cemetery, 84 S Gladd Rd, Fort Gibson OK with Matt Lewis, John David Lewis, Scott Caldwell, Grady Perryman, Jim White, Benjamin Wylie, Evan Scaggs and Nathan Scaggs serving as casket bearers. The Rev. Dawn Richards of Fort Gibson United Methodist Church and Rev. Dr. Sandy Wylie will officiate. The family would like to express their immense gratitude for the wonderful help and care provided by Ms. Linda Lee and Hospice of the Cherokee of Tahlequah, OK. If desired, memorial contributions may be made to the Fort Gibson United Methodist Church.
The family of Curtis Gene Johnson has entrusted his care, services and burial to Clifford D Garrett Family Funeral Home, Fort Gibson. 918-478-2555.
Online condolences may be left at clifforddgarrettfamilyfh.com