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Norris Johnson was born to George and Neva Twitty Johnson on Jan. 3, 1923, and departed this life on Friday, Sept. 9, 2011 at the age of 88-plus years. He lived in Chesterfield, Mo.
He was born in the family home in Douglas County, Mo., near Ava. He grew up there and attended Lakey School through the eighth grade. It was a one-room school with the breeze from the open windows providing the summer and spring air-conditioning and a pot- bellied stove the heat in fall and winter. However, he regarded it a positive experience overall and in addition to the 3 Rs gained some rich lessons for life.
He became a farm working assistant at an early age helping with the hand milking of the cows, plowing the fields with a hand held plow and all other chores required to run a family farm successfully. He graduated from Ava High School in the class of 1941 and married Mary Elliott, a classmate that same year. They continued to live on the farm for a time and their two sons, Jerry and Johnny, were born there. Mickey, their daughter, was born later when they had moved to Fillmore, Ill. Norris and Mary were divorced in 1958.
Norris married Myldred Hexter in 1962 and together they raised her son, John Hexter.
Norris’ two principal vocations in life were farming and over 50 years in car sales and he often said he never regarded either as work but enjoyed them as fun. We should all be so lucky.
He enjoyed very much attending annual class reunions over recent years, his last being earlier this year. It was the 70th and remarkably there were still several attendees.
Norris was preceded in death by his wife, Myldred, in 2000, and his son, Johnny Johnson, who died of acute myelogenous leukemia in 2002.
He is survived by his children Jerry Johnson (Bobbie), Mickey Taylor and John Hexter; his two sisters, Marjorie Chance and Fay Edwards; and a number of grand- and great-grandchildren.
He will be remembered and missed by those who knew him and appreciated his wit and sense of humor as a loving and generous friend and family member.