Charles Neal Johnson passed away May 28, 2016 in Vernon, Texas. Family visitation will be May 31, 2016 at the First United Methodist Church in Matador, Texas from 2-4 in the afternoon.
Charley was born Oct. 26, 1928 at home in Hedley, Texas to Clifford Lawson Johnson and Willie Roberta Berry Johnson. He attended Hedley Schools from the first through the twelfth grades. He then attended Clarendon College on a basketball scholarship. In 1950, Charley entered Texas Tech College as a walk-on for the Tech football team. He never played in a Tech game due to a knee injury. He was a qualified boxer in Chicago, Ill as a Golden Glove Competitor. He was a member of the United States Army from October of 1950 until October of 1952. He served in Occupied Germany for six months as a mechanical engineer.
Charley met Opal Irene Lowe in September of 1953 at a new teachers conference in Sunray, Texas where she was a beginning teacher, and he was a coach. They were married on March 12, 1954 in Stratford, Texas. He said that he became a coach because he thought he would have been a better athlete if he had had a “really good coach”, and that’s what he wanted to be.
After being an assistant coach in Sunray, Charley moved to Matador in 1956. He served as head football coach, taking teams to Regional playoff games in 1960, 1962, and 1963. His team went to Bi District in 1961. Charley served the Matador/Motley County ISD as Head Coach, Principal, and Superintendent. He retired as superintendent in 1986 after 30 years in Matador. Charley always believed that “life is not a 100 yard dash; it is a marathon”.
Coach Johnson served his community as well as its school. He was the Lion’s Club “Man of the Year” in 1968-69 and again in 1989-90. He was the Chamber of Commerce “Man of the
Year” in 2002. He oversaw the building of a new school building twice, once due to the destruction of the 1984 tornado. He served on the boards of the First United Methodist Church, the Motley County Library, and the Motley County Hospital District.
Surviving loved ones include his wife Opal, Charlotte Lou Sweet (Roger), Grant Lowe Johnson, Cindy Lee Riggins (Mike), and grandchildren, Clay Robertson (Amy), Malinda Riggins, and Bobby Don Riggins. He is also survived by his nephew, Richard Johnson (Martha). He was preceded in death by his parents; his brother, Billy Clifford Johnson; his sister-in-law, Estelle Johnson; and his nephew Tony Johnson.
Charles N. Johnson passed away peacefully, knowing that “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.” 2 Timothy 4:7