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Gary Johnson '64 May 4, 2021 10:45 AM updated: May 4, 2021 10:58 AM

Gary Nolan Johnson
JUNE 3, 1942 – APRIL 28, 2021

Gary Johnson, 78, of Jefferson County, passed away on April 28, 2021.

Born and raised in south Texas, he made his parents, sister, and his high school sweetheart so proud upon his admission to Texas A&M University and subsequent commission into the United States Air Force. His high school marching band deserves a special recognition, as that is how he met his future bride. Let us just say the drummer “snared” one of the clarinet players, and that led to over 60 years together.

With pride, Gary served as an officer in the Air Force for 20 years, earning his MBA along the way. The family moved to various locations across the country, although most of his time with the military was spent in Colorado. He spent two separate years on remote assignments in the Philippines and Greenland. His children still doubt his claim that they reached Greenland via a pedal plane. While in the Air Force, he worked in Strategic Air Command and was proud to have been an engineer at NASA for the Apollo 7 through 11 missions.

Upon his retirement from the Air Force, he stepped into civilian mode and began a 25-year long career at Martin Marietta / Lockheed Martin. While not able to share specifics with his family, he could tell them that he worked on black box stuff for their satellites. While no Tom Cruise, his favorite saying when asked about his work was, “I could tell you, but then I’d have to kill you.”

Gary is survived by his loving wife, their three children, a beautiful daughter-in-law, one very tall son-in-law, and 6 extraordinarily talented grandchildren. He is also survived by his sister, niece and her four children. His eldest grandson will marry next year, and his youngest grandson got married earlier in 2021.

His grandchildren were an immense source of pride and joy for Gary. He enjoyed teaching them the finer things in life, such as making your leg disappear and how to catch a tissue from your elbow. They all knew to never pull his finger.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests that memorial donations be sent to the Texas A&M Foundation: 401 George Bush Drive, College Station, TX 77840.

A family memorial scholarship will be established in his memory.

Please designate gifts, “In memory of Gary N. Johnson, ‘64” in the memo line of the check.

To donate online, go to and enter “In memory of Gary N. Johnson, ‘64” in the comment section.

An open viewing will be held on Wednesday 5 May from 12:00 – 2:00 PM at Olinger Hampden Mortuary, 8600 E Hampden Ave, Denver, CO 80231.

Additional information can be found at their website, A graveside Memorial Service will be scheduled at a later date.

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