Stefiel Dean Johnson
Stefiel Dean Johnson passed from this life on Monday, January 18, 2021 after a brief bout with pneumonia, seven days short of his 92nd. birthday. Stefiel was born on January 25, 1929 in Owen's Prairie, Stephens County, Oklahoma to Jessie (Merchant) Johnson and Tommy Johnson. He was raised by his mother and his grandparents, Melt and Eller Merchant. He attended General Robert E. Lee elementary in Duncan and graduated from Duncan High School in 1948. Stefiel began his military career as a teenager when he joined the Oklahoma Arm National Guard and was qucikly called up to serve in Korea. Stefiel and Laura Ruth (Duckworth-Early) were married on July 27, 1957 in Duncan.
His military career took him and Laura all over the world of his 30 plus years of active service, 20 of them were spent overseas. Stefiel was on active duty as the First Sergeant at Ft. Sill when he was transferred to the U.S. Air Force to serve as a Munitions Manager (aka "Run the Bomb Dump"). Having charge over several tons of conventional munitions and nuclear weapons was a tremendous responsibility and Sergeant Johnson's Bomb Dump never failed and inspection or readiness exercise. He was decorated for many achievements, including his service in Vietnam and the Philippines were some of Chief Johnson's duty stations. Chief Johnson's last active duty station was Canon Air Force Base, New Mexico in 1981.
After retiring from the Air Force, Stefiel and Laura returned to Duncan and Stefiel worked at Lawton High School. They enjoyed the deer, turkeys and other wildlife that lived near their home, Dr. Pepper and O.U. Sooner's football. They were passionate volunteers for the Stephens County Republican Party long before being a Republican became popular in this County. Stefiel and Laura's work for the Stephens County GOP helped with the election of too many Republican candidates to list. Stefiel was appointed as the Republican representative to the Stephens County election board and served there for several decades. The 2006 election resulted in a historic tie between Democrats and Republicans in the State Senate and as a result Stefiel became the first Republican Chairman of the Stephens County election board in Oklahoma history. Chairman Johnson's passion for elections motivated him to rehabilitate at the age of 91, from and injury in summer 2020, to return to work the November election.
Chief Johnson was predeceased by his parents and his grandparents. He is survived by his wife Laura Ruth of the home, and their 'adopted son' State Senator Anthony Sykes and his wife Rachel of Duncan. In lieu of flowers , memorial contributions can be made to the Stephens County GOP. Services are being handled by Carter-Smart Funeral Home. The family will receive family and friends on Thursday evening, January 28, 2021 at the funeral home between 5:00-7:00 p.m. Services are scheduled for 9:30 a.m. on Friday, January 29, 2021 at the Carter-Smart Funeral Home Chapel. Graveside services will follow at 1:00 p.m. at Ft. Sill National Cemetery. Procession for the graveside services will depart the funeral home at 11:45 a.m. escorted by Sheriff Wayne McKinney and his deputies.
Pallbearers will Mike Merchant, Kenneth Youngblood, Austin Fowler, Jason Hicks, Thomas Winton, Anthony Sykes
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