Saturday, March 27, 2010

In Loving Memory

We love you and miss you,
Virginia, Jennifer, and Jeremy

Ricky Lynn Johnson
June 19, 1950 - March 20, 2010

Because Your love is better than life my lips will glorify You - Psalm 63

Ricky Lynn Johnson of Antioch, California died Saturday, March 20 2010 while jogging in the hills of the Contra Loma Regional Park. He was 59 years old.

Rick was born on June 19, 1950 in Elk City, Oklahoma to Dewey and Ruby Fern Johnson. In 1956, Dewey and Ruby Fern moved with Rick and his younger brother Kent, to California. Rick became band president at Hueneme High School, and ran varsity track and cross country. In 1965, Rick and Virginia Bean, his future bride, started sitting next to one another in church. They married six years later, on August 14, 1971, while they were attending Harding University in Searcy, Arkansas, where Rick also ran for the cross country team.

After graduation, Rick began teaching English and coaching track and cross country at Cabot High School. They returned to California, where Rick worked with the Church of Christ in Inglewood and at Pepperdine University. After their first child, Jennifer was born, Rick and Virginia moved back to Cabot at the request of the superintendent. Rick continued teaching and coaching, and Rick and Virginia's second child, Jeremy, was born two years later. After completing his Master's degree at the University of Arkansas, Rick became a counselor at Cabot Junior High, and continued running.

Rick and Virginia shared a passion for God and for His children. He led singing and worked with children's worship, the youth group at their church. In 1990, Rick answered the call to full time ministry and moved to Houston, TX to be the youth minister at the Sharpstown Church of Christ, which later became the Sugar Grove Church of Christ. Even in the heat of Houston, Rick was running. In 1995, Rick transitioned from youth ministry to worship ministry. He served in Houston until God called again, this time to California. Rick had been serving as minister to the Eastside of Church of Christ in Antioch since 2004 and as a chaplain for the Antioch Police Department. His pace slowed, but he still loved to run in the hills. Rick strived to be Christ to all those he knew, and touched many lives. He will be sorely missed.

Rick is survived by his wife Virginia, children Jennifer Johnson-Leung (Moscow, ID) and Jeremy Johnson (Agoura Hills, CA), mother Ruby Fern (Antioch, CA), brother Kent Johnson (Nashville, TN), grandchildren Kaleb Johnson, Ruby Claire Johnson-Leung, Hannah Johnson-Leung (Moscow, ID) and Welsey Johnson (Agoura Hills, CA), and many aunts, uncles, cousins, in-laws, nieces and nephews.

A memorial service was held on Wednesday at 11 o'clock in the morning at the Eastside Church of Christ in Antioch. Donations may be made to Eastside Church of Christ - Food Pantry, Lifeline Chaplaincy of Houston, Texas, or Orphan’s Lifeline of Hope International.


Stoogelover said...

Your family was in my prayers as I was stunned and saddened to hear of his sudden death. I met Rick several years ago at Pepperdine Bible Lectures and we enjoyed visits several years after that. May God surround you with his comfort and peace.

cwinwc said...

I did not know your husband but I know a couple of guys who did. They spoke highly of him and being in my 50's and having a love of running, I feel like he and I were somewhat kindred spirits.

Suffice it to say that a stranger from the East Coast is praying for you and your family.

Amanda Brooke Kilgore said...

Love you, sweet Johnsons! Sure miss my blogging buddy! Thinking of you guys often!

Amanda Brooke Kilgore said...

Thought of you today, Rick. I found myself talking in that cartoon lady's Russian voice to Grant to try to cheer him up.

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My sincere and deepest sympathy goes out to you Jennifer and the kids. Let God carry you through this difficult time as you will need his strength to get through. How is mom doing? Blessings, CAR

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