Cover photo for DeWitt Johnson's Obituary
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1940 Dewitt 2018

DeWitt Johnson

February 28, 1940 — April 18, 2018

Claude DeWitt Johnson, of Kosse, passed away at Hillcrest Hospital in Waco on Wednesday, April 18, 2018, at age 78. Visitation will be held Monday, April 23, 2018 from 6:00 -8:00 P.M. in the Groesbeck Funeral Home Chapel.Funeral services will be held at 2:00 P.M. on Tuesday, April 24, 2018 at the First United Methodist Church of Kosse, with Rev. Dr. Rita Sims officiating and assisted by family friend, Anthony Laudde.   A private family burial will be held in the family cemetery.Pallbearers will be Mitchel Eckols, Kenda Eckols, Chris Turner, Kim Turner, Janzen Eckols, Kiera Eckols, Taylin Eckols, Tim Partin, Karen Partin, Kyler Partin, Kayne Partin, and Karter Partin. “De” as everyone called him, was a wonderful husband, daddy and pawpa!  He was always ready to help anyone and was driven to always be working on something…many would label that a “workaholic”, but in reality it is called a great work ethic,…he was just that kind of man. He had a love for farming and ranching, treating his cattle like children at times, ensuring they were fed and taken care of.  Planting crops and harvesting was in his blood.  Some of the land he worked, has been in the farming family of Todd and Johnson for over 100 years.  His specialty was hay, corn, wheat, oats…while at times making silage and grain, and carrying on the family traditions…he was just that kind of man. He built his own shop in Kosse, which is called De’s Parts and Service.  He and his wife, MaryAnn built this business in the year of 1985, and it still operates today, being operated by Kim and Chris Turner, his daughter and son-in-law.  He never formally retired instead he moved his focus more to farming over the last 6 years, while working steadily on projects in his “home shop” with his grandson, Janzen.  He never stopped working…he was just that kind of man. In his early years when his 3 girls were small, he cared for them by using his great mechanical engineer skills, a gift acquired by God.  He had begun college at one time in the mechanical industry, but soon realized his knowledge could be better put to use out in the field, than in a classroom.  Some of the mechanical “toys” he made for his girls, included a giant metal swing set that he designed and built by hand in 1974, which still exists today in great condition.  A go-cart built from scrap metal and a small engine, cleverly designed without shocks, so the girls would not go to fast, and low to the ground, in case they turned a sharp corner and one fell out. A metal horse buggy built for a Shetland pony to pull, which was entered in many homecoming parades.  As the girls grew up, solid basketball goals were erected on sticker patches (making for fast runners), cars were bought and made “break-it proof”, well almost…our dad provided for his girls in every way possible…he was just that kind of man. One week out of the summer each year, he would take off from work to take all his girls to Garner State Park for fun camping and swimming.  After the girls helped harvest the corn, then the vacation began…A rare time of relaxation for him. Mother would bring the whole “kitchen” to ensure we all were comfortable and well fed.  She especially wanted to ensure Daddy was taken care of and could relax…he was just that kind of man. In the 60’s he had an idea to build a roping arena in Kosse on part of his land.  A few of his friends lent a hand and they began weekly “ropings” for relaxation until midnight.  His girls rode the ponies and gave other kids ride, while the ladies gathered to talk a while. Later this arena was used for Kosse Homecomings by the Kosse Roping Club and at times a sand pit for volley ball games for the old, young and young at heart, with many funny stories.  He invented and had fun and never did we ever see him drink alcohol or smoke… he was just that kind of man. As we sat by our father his last days on earth, we reminisced over our childhood memories.  We have come to realize that at the times he was upset with us the most, were the times he loved us the hardest.  He only lifted a hand towards us, in a time of need for his help, whether it was with a project or a broke “something” …He was just that kind of man.  Behind every good man, and father is always a strong good woman.  Our mama was there with him through thick and thin during his life.  They were soul mates, partners and best friends…what a family he gave us, what an example he set…he truly built a great life for his family, and I know the Lord has said to him…”well done good and faithful servant; you were faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many things.  Enter into the joy of your LORD.”  Matthew 25:24 …He is just that kind of man. He was proceeded in death by his mother Mary Johnson and father, Raymond Johnson. “De” is survived by: His loving and strong wife, MaryAnn Johnson, daughter & Son-in-law Kenda & Mitch Eckols of Kosse - granddaughter Taylin Eckols of Columbus MS – grandson, and granddaughter-in-law, Janzen & Kiera Eckols of Kosse. Daughter & Son-in-law Karen and Tim Partin of Kosse – Grandsons Kyler and Kayne Partin & Special friend Mikayla Jones – Granddaughter Karter Partin – great grandsons Kreed and Kase Partin Daughter & Son-in-law Kim and Chris Turner of Kosse Brother and sister in law – Glenn and Suzy Johnson of Hamilton, MS Nephew – Keith Johnson & wife, Maggie of Dayton, Texas. Sister and brother in law – Kathleen and Bob Baker of Saint Francisville, LAIn lieu of flowers the family asks that donations be made to Kosse Volunteer Fire Department, Kosse Heritage Society, or the Kosse United Methodist Church.      
To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of DeWitt Johnson, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services

Church Service

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Starts at 2:00 pm (Central time)

First United Methodist Church of Kosse

207 Monroe St W, Kosse, TX 76653

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