Francis Bradford (Pete) Johnson, 85, of Little Rock, passed away peacefully Friday, December 17, 2010 in Little Rock, Arkansas. Mr. Johnson was born on May 21, 1925, in Waynesboro, Va., the second youngest of four children born to Marion Bradford and Stewart Phelps Johnson of Washington, D.C. Pete enlisted in the U.S. Navy during WWII and served aboard the U.S.S. Iowa in the south Pacific. After honorable discharge, Pete enrolled in William Jewell College in Liberty, Missouri, where he met and married his college sweetheart, Mary Jane Smith of Garden City, Missouri. After graduation they moved to New York, where Pete attended graduate school in business at New York University. Pete began his career in the apparel industry with Rothchilds Department stores in Kansas City. He worked at the H.D. Lee Co. as merchandise manager for career apparel and then the Lee Jean Brand. In 1968 he assumed the position of Vice President of Merchandising for Farah Slacks in El Paso, Texas, and later was Vice President of Merchandising for Imperial Reading Corporation in Lynchburg, Va. A gifted baseball player, Pete turned down the opportunity to join the minor leagues to raise a family. He followed his love of sports with many years of volunteer work, running the football game clock for the William Jewell Cardinals for some 15 years, refereeing high school and college football both as umpire and running the chains on the sideline, working with the Boy Scouts and in various roles with youth swim teams. In his leisure time he enjoyed regular rounds of golf, boating, fishing, and manicuring his tiff-green bent Bermuda-grass lawn. In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by his brother Bruce B. Johnson of Fresno, California. Survivors include his wife of 62 years Mary Jane, his sister Patricia Parkin of Little Rock, sister and brother-in-law Priscilla and John Doolittle of Pebble Beach, Calif.; son Michael and wife Marianne of Greensboro, N.C., daughter Kimberly Golden and husband William (Bill) of Little Rock; daughter Karen Goldthwaite and husband Jim of Ft.Worth, Texas, and grandchildren Robert (Brad) Johnson, Emily and Abbie Golden, Christopher and Tyler Goldthwaite. A memorial service will be held at 10 a.m. on Thursday, December 23, 2010, at Christ Episcopal Church, Little Rock. Following the service, there will be a brief Committal of ashes in the Columbarium at St. Mark's Episcopal Church. The family invites friends and family to join us following the services for lunch, laughter, and remembrance of Pete; 57 River Ridge Rd., Little Rock, 72227. In lieu of flowers the family has requested memorial contributions to the Columbarium Renovation Project at Christ Church, 509 Scott Street, Little Rock, Ark. 72201, or to Heifer International, 1 World Avenue, Little Rock, Ark. 72202. Arrangements are under the direction of Ruebel Funeral Home, www.ruebelfuneralhome.com.
Published December 21, 2010