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July 24, 1965 – Jan. 11, 2024

In Loving Memory of Johnny Ray Wilson, Beloved Son, Brother, Father, and Uncle.

Johnny Ray Wilson, affectionately known as Johnny Bear, passed away on January 11, 2024, in Oakdale, California after a courageous battle with cancer followed by other complications. He was born on July 24, 1965, in Modesto, California, and his life was a testament to strength, passion, and kindness.

Johnny’s journey through life was marked by his unwavering spirit and zest for adventure. He had a profound love for skydiving, a pursuit that allowed him to touch the skies and feel the freedom of the wind. The thrill of reeling in a big catch while fishing was another of his cherished pastimes, connecting him to the tranquility of nature. The pleasure of playing his bass guitar and writing songs.

Deeply rooted in his American Indian heritage, Johnny Bear carried the traditions and values of his ancestors with great pride. His connection to his roots was a source of strength and wisdom, enriching his life and the lives of those around him.

Johnny was not only an adventurer but also a compassionate soul. His heart overflowed with love for animals; he dedicated countless hours to finding loving homes for dogs in shelters. His efforts brought comfort and happiness to countless furry companions who found their forever families through his tireless work. Johnny’s Facebook and Cowboy Capital page served as a valuable source of information for the local public as THE VOICE of OAKDALE and played a pivotal role in his mission to find homes for shelter animals, posting community events and things of interest to the community.

Music was another passion that brought joy to Johnny’s life. He had a remarkable talent for songwriting, and his melodies resonated with anyone fortunate enough to listen. His music was a reflection of his soul and it will continue to be a cherished part of his legacy.

Johnny Ray Wilson is survived by his loving mother, Josephine Thompson Burrell, who was his unwavering source of support throughout his life. He is also survived by his brothers, Mark Wilson and Duane Thompson, and his sisters, Maria Burrell Sutton, Rebecca Burrell Staub, all of whom shared cherished memories and strong family bonds with Johnny.

In addition to his immediate family, Johnny leaves behind a legacy of love that extends to his Uncle Jimmy Ray Herd and nieces and nephews: Cleo Wilson, Presley Wilson, Michael Thompson, Zachary Thompson, Haileigh Sutton, and Vance Sutton. Johnny’s impact on their lives will be remembered and cherished forever.

He is preceded in death by his son Johnny Ray Wilson II.