League City, TX May 30, 29127 March March 29, 2013 ― Charles Johnson died on March 27, 2013 in League City, TX, of chronic myeloid leukemia. He will be interred at Houston National Cemetery, near his late wife, Nancy Faye Pyles Johnson.
He is survived by his daughter Susan Johnson Barbour and her husband William of Friendswood, Texas; son David Johnson and his wife Bonnie of Mt. Airy, Maryland; brother Lester Johnson and his wife Martha Ann; and grandchildren Nicholas Johnson and Samantha Johnson.
Bill married Nancy Faye Pyles on August 17, 1957 in Oxon Hill, Maryland. She preceded him in death on June 12, 2010. He was also preceded in death by his son Dennis William Johnson, on July 28, 1990.
Known throughout his life as “Bill,” Mr. Johnson was born in on May 30, 1927 in Powhatan Point, Ohio and was raised in Quaker City, Ohio. In grade school he took up trombone, and music quickly became a driving force in his life. He graduated from Quaker City High School in 1945 and soon enlisted in the Navy to do his part in WW II. He served as a Seaman 1st class sonar specialist on the Destroyer Escort USS Coolbaugh. After completing his military service, he attended Baldwin-Wallace College in Berea, OH with a major in music education, graduating in 1951.
Mr. Johnson’s first job was at Randolph-Macon Academy in Front Royal, VA, where he taught band, chorus, and three sections of English. The following year he moved to Oxon Hill, MD, where he took over a fledgling band program. Under his leadership it quickly became one of the top programs in the region, successfully challenging many larger and older band programs. In 1958 he hosted the first band festival in Prince George’s County, and two years later was a founder and first president of the Maryland Band Directors’ Association.
The Oxon Hill H.S. Band was invited to perform in 1962 at the prestigious Midwest Band and Orchestra Clinic in Chicago; it did so to great acclaim, featuring four guest conductors from college and top military bands. Mr. Johnson was elected to the American Bandmasters’ Association in 1964, a signal honor mostly reserved for college and university conductors.
In 1973 his band made another trip to the Midwest conference, again with distinguished guest conductors and a soloist from the Philadelphia Orchestra.
There were many other appearances at important festivals, clinics, and the 1964 World’s Fair. Bill Johnson continued teaching at Oxon Hill until his retirement in 1981. In 2000, 2002, and 2004, his former students organized an association and held reunions in his honor, to celebrate the great contribution he made to their lives. One of Mr. Johnson’s favorite sayings was: “Music plus kids is a magical combination.”
Funeral arrangements are being made through Crowder Funeral Home, 2422 Broadway, Pearland TX 77581. Visitation will be 11:00, and service at 12:00 on Sat., March 30th.
Burial will be Mon., April 1st at 1:00 at Houston National Cemetery.
The above information is provided by the family and funeral home and is deemed reliable
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