William Clark
B: 1952-11-10
D: 2017-12-14
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Clark, William
Barbara Grindstaff
B: 1934-07-08
D: 2017-12-13
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Grindstaff, Barbara
Ranchhodbhai Patel
B: 1924-11-20
D: 2017-12-13
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Patel, Ranchhodbhai
Freddie Brown
B: 1933-03-21
D: 2017-12-10
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Brown, Freddie
Norman Bagger
B: 1942-02-16
D: 2017-12-08
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Bagger, Norman
Henry Stelter
B: 1933-04-11
D: 2017-12-05
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Stelter, Henry
Kate Grant
B: 1924-09-11
D: 2017-12-05
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Grant, Kate
Sang Chanthavong
B: 1951-09-09
D: 2017-12-03
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Chanthavong, Sang
Curtis Brasfield
B: 1966-01-25
D: 2017-11-29
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Brasfield, Curtis
Wanda Wickware
B: 1932-04-26
D: 2017-11-28
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Wickware, Wanda
Bradley Long
B: 1981-07-03
D: 2017-11-27
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Long, Bradley
Sara Norwood
B: 1940-10-21
D: 2017-11-27
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Norwood, Sara
Marcella "Marcy" Scott
B: 1944-02-05
D: 2017-11-26
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Scott, Marcella "Marcy"
Robert Richardson
B: 1948-07-22
D: 2017-11-24
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Richardson, Robert
Eulalio Villicaña Ramirez
B: 1952-03-02
D: 2017-11-22
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Villicaña Ramirez, Eulalio
Herbert Seay
B: 1925-06-23
D: 2017-11-22
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Seay, Herbert
Cynthia Cornelius
B: 1952-05-16
D: 2017-11-22
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Cornelius, Cynthia
Virgil Ingraham
B: 1936-03-11
D: 2017-11-21
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Ingraham, Virgil
Rowena Ingraham
B: 1933-10-05
D: 2017-11-21
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Ingraham, Rowena
Velma Murray
B: 1921-04-06
D: 2017-11-20
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Murray, Velma
James Day
B: 1932-09-23
D: 2017-11-18
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Day, James


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6934 South Western Avenue
Oklahoma City, OK 73139
Phone: 405-634-1439
Fax: 405-634-3753

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Norman Johnston Norman Johnston
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Norman Walter "Newt" Johnston
1924 - 2017
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The water ski professor

Being a teenager with little sports skills was tough. Mainly because despair used to find me fast and I needed teachers with the patience of a saint.

As a kid, I wanted to be able to ski in any lake in the world, but that was proving to be almost impossible. I tried with many professors in lakes and beach resorts and I had given up for good since I just couldn't do it.

Then, one summer, everything changed. We were going to Oklahoma City for a week on a vacation. We wanted to visit the Johnston's and my father, my brother and I were on our way.

Newt and Honey had planned to go to a cabin in Eufala Lake for the weekend. The day we arrived to Eufala, Newt took out a boat and we went for a ride. He asked me if I wanted to ski and I remember saying: I would love to, but I haven't been able to do it even with skilled professors, so I think I'll pass. I remember him saying: that's nonsense. I'll teach you. I said that I was not a good student because I didn't have the patience needed for something like that and I was sure he was going to get mad. I don't recall his exact words, but I remember him saying: try me.

It was almost 30 years ago, but I remember being able to ski barely 15 minutes after Newt started teaching me. I was killing it and gaining confidence rather quickly. I was thankful for Newts patience (and his teaching ability). As I gained confidence, I started asking Newt to speed up the boat because it was a thrill and we got to the point where he said: I think we are going as fast as we should. You have been skiing for a couple of days, so let's take it easy.

I don't know how, but I convinced him of going faster and I started jumping the wake left by the boat. Once we were going fast, I messed up, didn`t jump right and I fell into the water so hard that I started bouncing like a rock in a pond. While bouncing, I lost one ski. When I finally stopped, I raised my head out of the water without knowing that the ski was right behind me and still at great speed. It hit me hard in the head and I took my hand to my head. Uh, oh! blood! This isn't right. When Newt got the boat around he noticed the blood and we rushed to the hospital.

I got 5 stitches. As the doctor was finishing dealing with the wound, he asked: and what is your favorite sport? well, I said, I think that it has to be be water skiing.

Newts patience got me skiing. And that is something I will never forget.

I will always remember Newt and Laura as a very loving couple whose laughter and happiness was contagious.

Rest in Peace, Newt. You will be greatly missed.



Posted by Felix Loperena
Tuesday March 14, 2017 at 9:10 pm
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