John B. Johnson, Jr., was born in Little Rock, Arkansas, to J. Bryan and Frances R. Johnson on December 12, 1933, grew up in Oklahoma City and moved to Tulsa in 1961. He graduated from Classen High School in Oklahoma City and won the 1950 and 1951 State High School Golf Championships. He received B.B.A. and J.D. degrees from the University of Oklahoma and an LL.M. degree from Harvard Law School. Johnson was a member of Phi Gamma Delta fraternity and a four-year letterman in golf at O.U. He served a three-year tour of duty in the United States Air Force (J.A.G.) and was awarded the Air Force Commendation Medal.
Johnson began practicing law in Tulsa in 1961 and since 1994 has been a partner with Johnson & Jones. He was listed among The Best Lawyers in America each year since the inception of the awards in 1983. In 1989, he received the Outstanding Service to Public Award given by the Oklahoma Bar Association.
Johnson was active in bar association work, particularly in the earlier years of his career, having received the Junior Award of the Tulsa County Bar Association in 1967 and later served as an officer and member of the Executive Committee of the T.C.B.A. He was a frequent lecturer at bar meetings and seminars and taught the Bar Review Course for several years. He was a past President of the Tulsa Estate Planning Forum and Harvard Law School Alumni Association of Oklahoma. He was an Adjunct Associate Professor, teaching "Corporations" at the School of Law, University of Tulsa (1971).
Johnson was a past president/chairman of the board of Boston Avenue United Methodist Church, the Metropolitan Tulsa Chamber of Commerce, The Rotary Club of Tulsa, Southern Hills Country Club and The Summit Club. He was also a founder and president of The First Tee of Tulsa. He was a past director/trustee of Philbrook Art Center, the American Red Cross, Oklahoma City University and Holland Hall School.
Johnson was an usher at Boston Avenue United Methodist Church for 41 years and served as Chairman of the Budget Committee there for 30 years. He was Co-Chairman of the Metropolitan Tulsa Economic Development Foundation, Chairman of the Goals for Tomorrow, Health Care Task Force, and a Board member of: Oklahoma State Chamber of Commerce and Industry; Industries for Tulsa, Inc.; Community Foundation for Indigent Health Care, Inc.; Tulsa Medical Education Foundation; the Literary Coalition for Metropolitan Tulsa; and Tulsa's Future, Inc.
In 1982, Johnson chaired the Uncompensated Health Care Delivery Task Force of the Tulsa Chamber and in 1988 chaired its Tulsa Medical Education Task Force. In 1985, he chaired the mayor-appointed Arkansas River Corridor Task Force. In 1998, he chaired the Search Committee to select the new President of the Tulsa Chamber (to succeed long-time President Clyde Cole). In 2008, he was inducted into the Tulsa Hall of Fame.
Johnson was preceded in death by his wife of 57 years, Nan. He is survived by three children, Bryan Johnson (wife, Jill) of Tulsa, Laura Johnson Ratliff (husband, Reeder) of Oklahoma City and Brad Johnson of Portland, OR; and six grandchildren, Allison and Sarah Johnson, Paul and John Ratliff, Abby and Katie Johnson; and sister, Jackie Calhoon of Austin, TX.
A memorial service will be held at Boston Avenue United Methodist Church on Friday, May 22 at 10:00 A.M., at 1301 South Boston, Tulsa, OK 74119. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to Boston Avenue United Methodist Church, (General Endowment Fund), First Tee of Tulsa, 5223 East 41st St. N., Tulsa, OK 74115, or Rotary Club of Tulsa, 616 South Boston Avenue, Suite 410, Tulsa, OK 74119. Moore's Southlawn 918-663-2233. Share memories at www.moorefuneral.com