Arbie William Johnson, a lifelong resident of Elgin, Texas, died on January 24, 2014 at the age of 86.
He was born on April 5, 1927. His parents were A.E. and Annie Johnson. Following his time in the navy, he returned to Elgin and became a part of his dad’s machine shop business, A.E. Johnson & Sons. Along with his two brothers, Arville and Arthur (Bubba) and their sister Ruby, they did all sorts of repair work for any and every kind of mechanical equipment. Eventually, they began building hydraulic powered feed block presses and bagging scales for feed mills. Their machines were sold all over the United States, Canada and Mexico. Arbie was a skilled machinist, shaping iron and steel into the various parts used either for the repair of equipment or in building new machinery.
Fifty five years ago on August 2, 1958 Arbie and Dolores Thomas, a school teacher, were married. Their children are Lede and her husband John Doba of Spring, Texas, son Brent and his wife Patsy, and son Jay and his wife Heather. Their grandchildren are Sarah, Hunter Colby and Jake. Dolores and Arbie were members of the First Presbyterian Church of Elgin.
Over the years Arbie continued his membership in the Masonic Lodge and the VFW. Although he has not been active for many years, he always held those organizations in high esteem.
In his younger years one of his favorite things to do was to visit other “old time” blacksmith and welding shops or to prowl around old machinery junk yards. Occasionally he would buy something, bring it home and restore it to its original purpose. His “recycled gem” would last for another generation. Iron and steel were his favorites, but he did build a few beautiful pieces of wood furniture for his home.
For as long as he was able, he went to the local Friday night football games. Of course deer hunting in South Texas was his lifelong greatest enjoyment.
Arbie had a long and good life and will be greatly missed by his family, his two sister-in-laws Elizabeth and Wyonda Johnson, many cousins, nieces and nephews and many friends.
A visitation will be held 5-7 PM, Sunday, January 26, 2014, Providence-Jones Family Funeral Home. Celebration of Life Services will be held 10:00 AM, Monday, January 27, 2014, Providence-Jones Family Funeral Home. Interment will follow at the Elgin Cemetery.