Retired 1st Sgt. Richard Paul “Pappy” Johnson, 83, died on Thursday, April 25, 2019, at Garden Valley Retirement Village in Garden City. He was born July 21, 1935, on the family farm near Fellsburg, the son of Clarence “Shorty” and Ruth ( Lindsay) Johnson. He married Carol Sparke in 1957. He later married Betty Schlereth Davidson Nov. 2, 1985, at Dodge City.
Johnson graduated from Trousdale High School and Pratt Community College. He received his bachelor’s degree in mathematics from Emporia State Teachers College. He later earned a master’s in mathematics from University of Salt Lake.
Johnson served with the 1st Battalion, 161st Field Artillery, Kansas Army National Guard, for more than 31 years, retiring as first sergeant in July 1995.
He worked with his brother Bill at Great Bend Industries and as a teacher in Hoisington and California and at Crustbuster in Spearville. After retiring, he worked part time at the grocery store in Spearville.
Johnson lived in Spearville for 30 years until failing health brought about moving to be closer to his children in Garden City in 2016. He enjoyed being close to family and especially enjoyed the once-a-week family meals. Grandchildren and great-grandchildren were a real joy to him.
He is survived by his wife Betty Johnson of the home, sons Greg (Paula) Johnson of Ozawkie, David (Michelle) Johnson of Hutchinson, Michael (Amy) Johnson of Olathe, D J (Vicki) Davidson of Garden City, Dustin (Stephanie) Davidson of Garden City; daughters Julie (Charlie) Oakley of Fritch, Texas and Shani Davidson Floyd of Garden City; brother Daniel (Shawna West) Johnson of Wichita; 21 grandchildren, 20 great-grandchildren and his beloved beagle, Hank. He was preceded in death by his parents, brother William Johnson and infant sister- Nancy Johnson, and ex-wife Carol.
Graveside service will be at 1:30 p.m. Wednesday, May 1, at Kansas Veterans Cemetery in Fort Dodge. Military rites will be conducted by the Kansas Army National Guard Military Funeral Honors Team and American Legion District 8 Honor Guard. Memorials are suggested to Operation Comfort Warrior of American Legion in care of Garnand Funeral Home. Condolences may be posted at www.garnandfuneralhomes.com.