George Benjamin ‘Ben’ Johnson
George Benjamin “Ben” Johnson, 93, of Midland, died peacefully in his home on Sunday, Sept. 11, 2016.
Private memorial services will be held at a later date.
Ben was born on May 31, 1923, in Graham, to Bertie Davis Johnson and George Benjamin Johnson. At the age of 19, he left the family farm to serve for six years in the Navy Air Corps as a radioman-gunner, patrolling and engaging in combat and rescue missions throughout the Pacific, including Midway and Guadalcanal. He was twice awarded a Distinguished Flying Cross. His Navy Patrol Bombing Squadron, “Screaming 104,” was the only patrol squadron in World War II to receive two Presidential Unit Citations for extraordinary heroism in action.
In 1951 he married Suzanna Larmour, and the two settled in Midland to raise a family in a house they built together. Both worked in the oil industry, Suzanna as vice president of Leeper Oil and Ben as a draftsman.
A man of great generosity, humor, intelligence and courage, Ben devoted his life after Suzanna’s passing to philanthropic causes, most notably Habitat for Humanity, serving as one of the organization’s oldest volunteers from 1995 to 2016 and building over 130 houses for families in need. Of his volunteer work, he said, “The influence of Habitat on children is the most important thing I see. The glue that puts a family together is having a home.”
He is survived by his two daughters, Dyna Johnson of Canyon and Pat Johnson Mayne of Austin; his son, Sam, of Dallas; his stepdaughter, Frances Griffith; his dear friends, Tony Valles and Suzanne Brown; six grandchildren and five great-grandchildren.
He was preceded in death by his beloved wife of 44 years, Suzanna Larmour Johnson (1924-1992), also of Graham, and five siblings, Don Johnson, Lois Johnson Oliver, Bob Johnson, Eunice Johnson Baker and Ed Johnson.
The family would like to express their gratitude toward many dear friends who supported and loved Ben, with special thanks to Midland Habitat for Humanity and Hospice Midland.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Midland Habitat for Humanity, PO Box 2555, Midland, TX, 79702, or habitatmidland.org. A donation of your time to Habitat would also be a meaningful gesture to honor his memory.
Online condolences may be made at npwelch.com.