R. Paul Johnson of Commerce, Texas, a retired professor at Texas A&M Commerce and a beloved father, grandfather, and husband to Norma Johnson for 64 years, died on January 10, 2022 He was 90 years old. The cause of death was heart failure.
Paul was born April 26, 1931, in Durant, Oklahoma, the son of Thomas Earl Johnson and Allie Lee Tate Johnson. In 1957, after serving in the Army, Paul married fellow Durant native Norma Hewett. Paul earned his doctorate in guidance and counseling from the University of Oklahoma and in 1961 became a professor at East Texas State University (now Texas A&M University – Commerce).
Paul will be remembered for his compassion, meticulous hard-work, intellectual curiosity, dedication to students and the university, and love for his family. He helped establish the Truax Foundation at the university and was active in the building committee for the First United Methodist Church in Commerce.
Paul played football, basketball, tennis, and golf during his life and taught the love of sports to his two daughters, Amy and Ellie. He avidly followed many teams, including his Lions and Sooners. He frequented the TAMUC recreation center, where he was known as “The Question Man,” quizzing student workers about history, geography, or daily news items. Each week, he wrote messages on cards handmade by Norma to his three granddaughters, Rachel (daughter of Amy and her husband Michael Savage) and Emily and Allison (Ellie’s daughters). He self-published a memoir called P.J.’s Route that records his life story. His wife, daughters and granddaughters survive him.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be sent to the First United Methodist Church of Commerce or to TAMUC Counseling Excellence, TAMUC Foundation, Box 3425, Commerce, TX, 75429.
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