Elbert Johnson of Haskell, Texas, passed away Monday morning, April 15, 2013 at Stamford Memorial Hospital in Stamford, Texas. He was 85. Funeral services will be held at 2:00 p.m. Thursday, April 18, 2013 at the First Baptist Church in Haskell with Rev. Jim McCurley officiating. Visitation is planned for Wednesday evening, April 17 from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. at the funeral home. Interment with military honors will take place at 2:00 p.m., Friday, April 19, 2013 at Hillcrest Cemetery in Temple, Texas under the direction of Smith Family Funeral Homes.
Elbert Johnson, son of William Quitney Johnson and Annie Elizabeth Crawford Johnson, was born August 30, 1927 in Temple, Texas. He graduated from Temple High School in January of 1945. He enlisted in the Marine Corps where he served until August 1946. He attended Texas Tech University from 1947 to 1952, graduating with a Bachelor of Science degree in Education. While at Tech he lettered in football for four years, played in the Sun Bowl in El Paso in 1947 and in the Raisin Bowl in Fresno, California in 1949. Elbert’s senior year he was honored by being unanimously elected Captain of the Team. Elbert married Franciene Baker on November 24, 1954 in Temple, Texas.
After completing his education, Elbert played professional football with the Chicago Cardinals in the NFL and the Saskatchewan Roughriders in the Canadian League. He began his career in coaching at Muleshoe High School, continuing in Belton and Bryan High School. Upon retiring from coaching, Elbert worked in Houston for the Underwood Corporation before entering Pharmacy School at the University of Texas. Elbert graduated Summa cum Laude with a Bachelor of Science in Pharmacy in February of 1966.
Elbert began his pharmacy career as manager of the Bowen Drugstore in Sweetwater before purchasing the M&F Pharmacy (formerly Payne Drug Store) in Haskell in August, 1966. He completed work by correspondence and received a Masters degree in health education and a Doctors Degree in Pharmacy. He served the Big Country Pharmaceutical Association as President, Vice-President, and on the Board of Directors. Elbert sold the store in 1994, but continued to work part-time until he retired from pharmacy in August of 2010.
Mr. Johnson was active in places of leadership in his community. He served on the school board for nine years where he was elected Secretary and Vice President. He is past-President of the Chamber of Commerce and also served as Vice-President, Secretary and Treasurer. He was a charter member of the Kiwanis Club of Haskell and was elected Layman of the Year for the Texas-Oklahoma District of Kiwanis International in 1992-93. He also served as President, Director and was Secretary until the club disbanded in 2006. He served as a Director of the Industrial Foundation and helped promote the passing of the Miller Creek project. Elbert was also a director of Troop 136 of the Boy Scouts of America and a lifetime member of the American Legion.
Mr. and Mrs. Johnson went to Spain with the APhA and AMA exchange program in 1982 and to Russia the week after Chernobyl. The Johnsons, along with Dr. and Mrs. Frank Cadenhead, went on 9 medical missions to Venezuela in the late 1980’s and early 1990’s with Southern Baptists.
Mr. Johnson is preceded in death by his parents, Quitney and Annie Johnson, and one brother, Eldo Johnson.
Elbert will be sadly missed by his wife, Franciene of the home; sons, Gary Johnson and wife Charlotte of Haskell, Jerrell Johnson and girlfriend Emily Medford of Haskell; grandchildren, Toby Johnson and wife Alex of Tennessee, Blade Johnson and girlfriend Desirae of Aspermont and her son, Grayson, Justin Arendall and wife Amanda of Haskell, Texas, Matthew Arendall and wife Tasha of Weatherford, Texas, Audra Arendall of Stamford; great grand-children, Brooklynn and Kaylee Johnson of Lexington, Tennessee, Casey and MaKayla Arendall of Haskell, Vayden Arendall of Weatherford, Garrett and Ethan Arendall of Stamford; nephews, Brad Johnson of Dallas, Kirby Johnson and wife Kim of Temple, Kyle Johnson and wife Amy of Orlando, Florida, Joel Johnson and wife Shari of Winter Park, Florida, Burl Baker and wife Karen of Austin; niece, Becky Baker Horne and husband Joe of Grapevine, Texas; sisters-in-law, Jewel Baker of Austin, Texas and Nelwyn Johnson of Temple, Texas.
Pallbearers for Mr. Johnson are Joey Kimbrough, Rex Pittman, Tim Pringle, John Sam Rike, Lonnie Meredith, and Keith Everett.
If desired, memorials can be made in Elbert's name to First Baptist Church, 301 N. Avenue E, Haskell, Texas 79521.