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Sommay Vongphakdy
B: 1950-01-01
D: 2017-10-15
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Vongphakdy, Sommay
Dolores Blackburn
B: 1929-09-15
D: 2017-10-13
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Blackburn, Dolores
Sarah Marie
B: 1947-02-12
D: 2017-10-12
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Marie, Sarah
Grady Burks
B: 1927-09-07
D: 2017-10-12
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Burks, Grady
Elena Hildenbrand
B: 1929-09-29
D: 2017-10-11
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Hildenbrand, Elena
Melba Dobbs
B: 1932-02-14
D: 2017-10-10
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Dobbs, Melba
Waldo Young
B: 1932-09-30
D: 2017-10-08
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Young, Waldo
Jiggs Wingo
B: 1924-04-03
D: 2017-10-07
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Wingo, Jiggs
Oanh Dang
B: 1945-08-25
D: 2017-10-05
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Dang, Oanh
Marcella Raymond-Felts
B: 1953-04-10
D: 2017-10-03
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Raymond-Felts, Marcella
Othor Daniels
B: 1934-04-09
D: 2017-10-03
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Daniels, Othor
Cheryl Kirby
B: 1950-12-30
D: 2017-10-01
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Kirby, Cheryl
Amphay Sourignavong-Brown
B: 1970-07-10
D: 2017-09-30
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Sourignavong-Brown, Amphay
Claudia Foutch
B: 1930-10-28
D: 2017-09-29
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Foutch, Claudia
Patsy James
B: 1929-11-14
D: 2017-09-28
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James, Patsy
Jose Hernandez Alvarado
B: 1936-01-20
D: 2017-09-28
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Hernandez Alvarado, Jose
Marie Rhodes
B: 1924-03-06
D: 2017-09-27
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Rhodes, Marie
Deanne Curtis
B: 1945-10-25
D: 2017-09-23
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Curtis, Deanne
Shirley Sites
B: 1937-05-30
D: 2017-09-22
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Sites, Shirley
Gary Sykes
B: 1951-09-12
D: 2017-09-21
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Sykes, Gary
Don Robinson
B: 1934-07-22
D: 2017-09-20
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Robinson, Don

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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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