Temple  Johnson Jr.

Obituary of Temple Houston Johnson Jr.

My tall Texan passed away Sunday, December 17th, 2023.  He had been ill for a few years, but he still managed to keep his sense of humor.  When he was in his final days, he was cautioned not to gulp his diet Dr. Pepper as he might choke which would be a bad way to die.  He calmly said, “Is there a good way to die?” 


He was born February 5th, 1934 in Hillsboro, Texas.  He grew up in Bynum,Texas, where he and his friends hitch hiked back and forth to Hillsboro-the big city.  He often said he should have never made it out of adolescence. 


Temple experienced much in his 89 years of life. As a young boy, he helped on the farm driving a very unairconditioned John Deere tractor.  Some of his early jobs included picking cotton and working at the cotton gin.He also served in the navy for a brief time. 


 As a young man, he developed a love of aviation. One of his first aviation jobs was loading and unloading bags for what was then known as Pioneer Airlines in Midland-Odessa, Texas. At one point he also managed the airport cafe. 


He was one of the pioneers in the FAA (Federal Aviation Administration).  He joined its ranks when it was called the CAA. He loved his job as an air traffic controller.  He retired in December, 1994 as the Manager of the Air Traffic Division of the NW Rocky Mountain Region. Before that he had been manager of the control tower at the old Denver Stapleton Airport.   


He came out of retirement to sell real estate. He had more fun meeting people and helping them than selling a property.  


He is survived by his wife of 43 years, Patricia.  He is also survived by four children: Phyllis Underwood of Lubbock, Russell Johnson (Rebecca) of Dallas, Timothy (Lori) of Washington, and Whitney Cromwell (Jeffrey) of Covington, Washington. 


He is also survived by his 6 grandchildren: Jordan Rodriguez (Chris) of North Richland Hills, Texas, Parker Johnson of Dallas, Texas,  Stuart Jones (Cassie) of Dripping Springs, Texas,  Kevin Jones of Corpus Christi, Texas, Tanner Cromwell of Covington, Washington and Lilly Cromwell of Fort Collins, Colorado. 


Three great grandchildren also survived him: James and Jaxon Rodriguez of North Richland Hills, Texas and Olivia Jones of Dripping Springs, Texas. 


Temple was the eldest and only boy of five children  He is survived by four younger sisters: Shirley Hutchinson of San Antonio, Dorothy Johnson (David) of San Antonio, Darlene Farmer of San Angelo, and Jerri Pirc (Doug) now living in Portugal.   


Uncle “Junie” is also survived by many nieces and nephews.  He loved being their uncle. 


Temple was preceded in death by one son, Temple Dean Johnson of Lubbock.  His parents Ossie Mae and Temple Johnson, Sr. also preceded him in death. Two brothers-in- law also preceded him in death, Warren Hutchinson of San Antonio and Harold Farmer of San Angelo. 


He was a member of Messiah Lutheran Church, Auburn, Washington and Meridian Valley Country Club, Kent, Washington. 


He lived life to the fullest and experienced many things that a farm boy from Texas would not have been expected to achieve.  He flew airplanes, fished for salmon, held a single digit handicap for about one week, landed on an aircraft carrier, smoked  the best BBQ ribs and chicken, discussed aviation with John Denver, and loved just being with his wife and family.  


Temple loved BBQ, tamales, pimento cheese, pecan pie, diet Dr. Pepper, his family, and making people feel good.  He was the best hugger. 


Memorial Service- March 2nd at 3:00 pm

Messiah Lutheran Church, Auburn, Wa 

Reception to follow at the Church 

Temple’s ashes will be interred at the Tahoma National Cemetery on March 1st at 2:00.  

Instead of flowers, please donate to the Auburn Food bank or your local food bank. 



2:00 pm
Friday, March 1, 2024
Tahoma National Cemetery
18600 SE 240th St
Kent, Washington, United States

Memorial Service

3:00 pm
Saturday, March 2, 2024
Messiah Lutheran Church
410 H St NE
Auburn , Washington, United States
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