Thursday, February 1, 2007
The Lord answered all of our prayers throughout his illness. When we asked the Lord if he could stay, He said "No, I want my son home." Billy Ray "B.R." Johnson went home to be with the Lord Tuesday, Jan. 30, 2007, while surrounded by his wife, daughters and nephew, Mike.
He was born to Glenn and Katherine Hapke Johnson Jan. 10, 1941, in Chester, Ill.
The family moved to East Carondelet, Ill., where B.R. attended grade school and high school. During high school at Dupo, Ill., he played basketball four years and at one time held the all-time career scoring record. Prior to graduating he was offered 16 basketball scholarships. He accepted a four-year scholarship to attend Louisiana College in Pineville as a center-forward. After college, B.R. was drafted into the Army where he honorably served in the armored division as a tank driver from 1964 to 1966.
Following service to his country, he began his career with the railroad. He retired in 2002 from Union Pacific as an engineer with over 36 years of service.
He was a member of Cape County Cowboy Church in Fruitland, and attended Wednesday night Bible study and Friendship First Class.
Besides his church, his family and friends were his greatest joy. He and Letha M. Mallady Koch were married Dec. 23, 1976.
He immediately inherited four children and he loved them as his own. His daughters are Linda (Ed) Manning of Palestine, Texas, Denise (Phil) Luttrell of Scott City and Ann (Mark) Fowler of St. Louis.
Also surviving are seven grandchildren, Angela Davidage (friend John) of Springfield, Ill., Eddie (Courtney) Manning of Eglin AFB, Fla., Billy (Brittney) Manning of Alamogordo, N.M., Carl (Heather) Lange of Elkville, Ill., Katie, Casey and Ben Fowler of St. Louis; six great-grandchildren; three stepgrandchildren, Bobby, Angie and Megan Luttrell of Cape Girardeau; six great-stepgrandchildren; a brother, Jim (Nina) Johnson of Columbia, Ill.; a sister, Jackie (Richard) Moskodauz of East Carondelet; an aunt, Maxine Parker of St. Louis; nieces; nephews; and other adopted children.
He was preceded in death by his parents and a son, Robert.
Friends may call from 4 to 8 p.m. Friday at Ford and Sons Mount Auburn Funeral Home.
The funeral will be at 2 p.m. Saturday at the funeral home, with the Rev. Jim Matthews officiating. Entombment will be at Cape County Memorial Park Mausoleum.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests memorials be made to Hope Lodge Center, 4215 Lindell Blvd., St. Louis, Mo., 63108, or Cape County Cowboy Church Building Fund, P.O. Box 242, Jackson, Mo., 63755.