Retired United States Air Force Master Sargent Willis (Bill) Return Johnson slipped peacefully away into the arms of the Angles. His departure to his next mission occurred at 8:15 am., Monday November 19th, 2012 at Doctors Medical Center in San Pablo, California. Bill was born to Willis Milton Johnson and Henrietta Victoria CAREY Johnson of Cheswold, Delaware.
Bill was the oldest of six children, having been preceded in death by his Sister Calanthia Johnson, Brother Charles Johnson and Sister Ardella JOHNSON Durham (Clinton Durham – Cheswold, Delaware). He is survived by his Sister Dolores JOHNSON Carney Rivera of Kingman Arizona; and Brother Stanley Johnson (Patricia Johnson) of Felton, Delaware. Also survived by six nephews, Pete, Clinton Jr., Steve, Keith, Michael, and Jason; as well as numerous grand nieces and nephews.
Bill was a full blood Native American from the Lenape Indian Tribe of Delaware. His Native name was Thunder One.
Two daughters survive, Paula Wimmer her husband Chris and their three children Christian, Rebekah, and Naomi of Pinole, California. He is also survived by Brenda Odle, her daughters Dena Walls and Michelle Roseman-Yeo of El Cerrito, California. Bill had the pleasure of 4 great grand children – Antonio and Julian Walls and Charles and Juliet Sutherland. His grandchildren all knew him as “Grandpa Dude or Gramps” and the Great Grandchildren knew him as “Pop Pop”.
Bill was a World War II veteran having served in Germany, North Africa, Turkey and various other United States Bases. His entry into the service took him into the field of weather service for the Army Air Corps, providing weather analysis and reporting for air traffic. After a few years of this service, he was transferred to a secret mission whereby he provided analysis on Special Weapons uses. To his departing day, his special weapons work was never spoke of. He had the highest degree of integrity and never divulged his top secret clearance work.
After retirement from the Service, he lived in a number of locations including Las Vegas, Nevada, Lake Havasu and Topock, Arizona, Anacortes, Washington, Sacramento, Larkspur, and West Sacramento, California. He loved to travel as well as attend jazz festivals, bluegrass and western swing events. Bill was very outgoing and he never met a stranger.
Bill was a person that lived life to its fullest. If there was something needed to be done, it was done. People often wondered if he was related to the Redd Foxx TV character Fred Sanford from Sanford and Son, due his ability to buy anything and ALWAYS make a buck upon its sale.
For those that may be confused, Bill was the ultimate gadget man. He enjoyed watching infomercials and would always wait until they offered not one, not two, but THREE items for the low low price of $14.95. His latest purchase was for the magnetic door screens.
Page 2 of 2 - He also was an active member of the Moose and Elks Lodges, and the VFW. He will be missed dearly. No words could describe him; you had to “experience him”.
The family wishes that in lieu of any flowers, that donations be made in his honor to American Cancer Society. Graveside services are pending.