R. Eugene Johnson, aka Gene Johnson, was born December 23, 1941, to Rayford Johnson and Ella Mae Nickell Johnson, in San Antonio, TX. Gene married the love of his life Linda on August 22, 1969, after having met on Padre Island in April of 1969. After living several years with a weakened heart, Gene died on February 16, 2016.
Gene served in the Marine Corps February 5, 1960 to January 13, 1968, and worked for Braniff Airlines in different cities for 17 and a half years. After leaving the Dallas area as DFW Air Cargo Manager, Gene and Linda moved to Rockport where Gene worked at and eventually was given the title of Aransas County Airport Manager; position he held for over 30 years. During his tenure, TxDOT Aviation awarded him the honor of 1993 Airport Manager of the year and in 2010 the airport was awarded Most Improved Airport of the Year.
Gene was a giver to a fault always challenging his spouse to work the budget around his giving nature. His favorite saying was “it’s only money and time— all that belongs to God who gave it to you and you can’t take it with you.”
Gene is survived by his wife, Linda of Fulton, TX. His sisters, Lynda (Mark) Hanna of Hermitage, Tennessee, and Betty (Les) Daniel of Bulverde, TX and his cat, Boy. He is preceded in death by his parents, Rayford and Ella Mae Johnson, sisters Dorothy Mabry and Bertie Rae Turrentine.
At the 2016 Texas Aviation Conference, Aviation Division Director Dave Fulton spoke of Gene’s legacy in general aviation in Texas.
“Gene was truly dedicated to his airport and serving the needs of this community,” said Fulton. “He was an amazing man and general aviation in Texas is better off for having him as airport manager for many years.”