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Friday, May 6, 2016

Agnes Johnson

Monday, October 18, 2010

Agnes M. Johnson, beloved wife of Norman William (Bill) Johnson who preceded her in death in 2005, passed away on Oct. 13, 2010. She was born on Sept. 16, 1916 near Butterfield, MO. to John and Nora Marlow.

The Marlow family moved to Purdy, Missouri where Agnes' father was the local blacksmith. Agnes attended Purdy schools and was chosen as one of the members of the Missouri All-State Championship Basketball team and was awarded a college basketball scholarship. She pitched for her school softball team and sang in the school chorus.

She graduated in 1934 and married her high school sweetheart, Bill Johnson. They moved to Porterville and then to Modesto, California. During World War II, Agnes was promoted to night supervisor at the Pacific Bell Telephone Company while Bill served in the Navy in the Pacific. After the war, Agnes and Bill owned a successful local supermarket in Modesto. Upon selling their business in 1952, Bill became vice president and general manager of Save Mart supermarkets. Agnes strongly supported him with her skill and knowledge of the grocery business, offering her expertise by training new cashiers and teaching courses at Modesto Junior College.

Agnes dearly loved sports, music, and traveling. She was an active member of the Modesto Municipal Golf Course Women's Golf Club and the Spring Creek Golf & Country Club. Agnes and Bill were joint owners of the Modesto A's, a farm club for the Oakland A's, seldom missing a game at the Modesto ball park. Agnes was also an avid supporter of the Modesto Junior College basketball program. She and her sisters, Rachel and Lois, enjoyed the annual Modesto Junior College Basketball tournament and could be found in the cheering section for the Modesto Pirates every game during the week of the tournament.

Agnes and Bill went to thirteen NCAA basketball championships all over the U.S. as well as several Super Bowl games, World Series games, and the 1982 Olympics in Los Angeles. Attending the Kentucky Derby was one of their favorite experiences. In their community spirit, Agnes and Bill helped found the Modesto Jazz Society, seldom missing a Sunday afternoon of jazz and dancing at the Elks Club. They loved going to the annual Red Hot Jazz Festival in Los Angeles as well as jazz festivals in Sacramento and Monterey every year.

Agnes and Bill toured extensively throughout Europe, North Africa and some Middle Eastern countries, visiting 28 foreign countries throughout their travels. They were on one of the first tour buses allowed to travel through Russia during the tense years of the Cold War. In later years, they enjoyed traveling throughout the U.S. and Canada in their motor home and especially liked to vacation in Palm Springs and Scott's Valley.

Agnes, beloved aunt of many nieces and nephews, some of whom she and Bill raised, is adored by all of her family for her kindness, her compassionate nature, and her generosity to anyone in need. Friends and family are invited to attend the graveside funeral service on Tuesday, October 19th at 11 a.m. at Lakewood Memorial Park, 900 Santa Fe Avenue, Hughson, CA.

Remembrances may be made to a favorite charity.


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