Obituaries

Ollie Stiles
B: 1927-01-04
D: 2017-08-17
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Stiles, Ollie
John Greear
B: 1954-04-03
D: 2017-08-16
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Greear, John
Randall Roberts
B: 1940-07-24
D: 2017-08-16
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Roberts, Randall
Marsha Reeder
B: 1954-09-10
D: 2017-08-14
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Reeder, Marsha
William Wall
B: 1937-10-15
D: 2017-08-13
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Wall, William
Stella Craft
B: 1925-07-15
D: 2017-08-13
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Craft, Stella
Vivian Foreman
B: 1945-07-19
D: 2017-08-12
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Foreman, Vivian
Geneva Shadrick
B: 1934-12-04
D: 2017-08-10
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Shadrick, Geneva
Kenton "Kent" Potter
B: 1954-03-28
D: 2017-08-09
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Potter, Kenton "Kent"
Theodore Anderson
B: 1941-07-09
D: 2017-08-09
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Anderson, Theodore
Somchit Bulyaphol
B: 1933-04-02
D: 2017-08-08
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Bulyaphol, Somchit
Joey Dean
B: 1959-10-17
D: 2017-08-08
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Dean, Joey
Linda Nunneley-Calvert
B: 1951-03-26
D: 2017-08-05
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Nunneley-Calvert, Linda
Miguel Mata
B: 1980-04-15
D: 2017-08-05
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Mata, Miguel
Charlotte Dodson
B: 1925-05-26
D: 2017-08-05
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Dodson, Charlotte
William Smith
B: 1931-09-29
D: 2017-08-05
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Smith, William
George Harms
B: 1929-04-13
D: 2017-08-05
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Harms, George
Bertha Tonemah
B: 1924-09-13
D: 2017-08-04
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Tonemah, Bertha
Deanna Leeds
B: 1971-03-05
D: 2017-08-03
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Leeds, Deanna
Wanda Garcia
B: 1935-11-13
D: 2017-08-02
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Garcia, Wanda
John Linster
B: 1926-12-10
D: 2017-08-02
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Linster, John

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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
In Memory of
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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