By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
June 29, 1952 – Feb. 9, 2021
Thomas Duane Johnson obit pic
Thomas Duane Johnson, known as “Duane” to family and friends, passed away in Oakdale, CA on February 9. Duane is survived by his wife, Debra Johnson of Oakdale, his daughters, Angela Brown of Panama City, FL, Jeri McClure of Picayune, MS, Erin Buyense of Oakdale, and his sister Dolores Stewart of Conway AR. He was also blessed with 11 grandchildren and three great-grandchildren. Duane is preceded in death by his father Ray Johnson, mother Juanita Beavers, brother Jerry Johnson, and stepfather Garland Beavers.
Duane was born into a military family on June 29, 1952 at Balboa Naval Hospital in San Diego. His family moved back to their home state of Arkansas in 1964. After graduating from North Little Rock high school in 1970, Duane enlisted in the Navy. After six years of service and three tours on the USS Midway in Vietnam, Duane separated from the military in 1976 to pursue his college education. Duane became a North Little Rock police officer to support his family while completing his college degree. Upon graduating from the University of Arkansas in 1982, Duane received a military commission to return to service as a U.S. Naval Officer. Duane retired in 1994 having served a total of 19 years.
Duane and Debra moved to Oakdale in 1994 for Duane’s new career as a park ranger with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers at Stanislaus River Parks in Knights Ferry. Keeping with the determination shown in prior endeavors, Duane set out to become the park manager of Stanislaus River Parks. In 2004, Duane was promoted to park manager at New Hogan Lake. In 2010, Duane achieved his goal returning to Stanislaus River Parks as park manager - a role he retired from on December 21, 2014.
Duane had many interests and hobbies over the years; he loved football, scuba-diving, snow-skiing, photography, traveling, camping, and the outdoor life - family, friends, and good food being a must. Most who had the privilege to get to know Duane found him to be a good man, set apart by his kindness, patience, and generosity. It was evident that he was a man of faith and had a true heart for God.
A celebration of Duane’s life will be held at Bloomingcamp Ranch on Monday, May 17 at 11 a.m.

Address: 10528 State Highway 120, Oakdale, CA 95361 (this is an outdoor venue). Charcuterie buffet, desserts, and refreshments will be served. Guests are welcome to share their memories and stories of Duane.

The Oakdale (Calif.) Leader
The Riverbank (Calif.) News

May 5, 2021