Cover photo for Johnson Stearns's Obituary
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1917 Johnson 2015

Johnson Stearns

August 27, 1917 — October 10, 2015

Services will be October 16th, 11:00 AM at the Carrizozo High School Gymnasium, internment at the Evergreen Cemetery, with a pot luck dinner to follow at the Carrizozo Country Club.

Johnson was born on August 27, 1917 in Carrizozo, New Mexico to parents, Orsa and Pearl Stearns. Johnson passed away October 10, 2015 at his home in Carrizozo, NM.

He graduated from Carrizozo High in 1936 and married his life-long sweetheart, Margaret Shafer, in May of 1937. Margaret preceded him in death in August 1996. Johnson is survived by three children: Bob and Sue Stearns from Nogal, NM; Judy and Charlie Glover from Las Cruces, NM; and Linda and Hoot Gibson from Carrizozo. He is also survived by six grandchildren and eleven great-grandchildren: JB Stearns, Jolie and Riley of Las Cruces and Jake Stearns from Reno, Nevada; Steve, Jeannie, Taylor and Macy Stearns of Austin, Texas; Vickie and Denton Gove of Las Cruces; Rhonda, Jason, Luke and Sam Milahic of Phoenix, Arizona; Brett, Jonna, Bryce and Madison Smith of Caballo, New Mexico; and Lori, Cody, Lyncoln and Amaris Willard of Alto, New Mexico; along with his incredible caregiver and special Friend Lorena Najara, her husband Nacho and her sons, Fernando, Arturo, Victor and Joel.

Johnson is a well known Lincoln County pioneer, historian and story teller extraordinaire who people have long tapped as an early-days Google for facts relating to the county and other pertinent New Mexico information.

Throughout his life, he worked in a multitude of occupations, and as he was always considerate of his wife Margaret, he purchased her a laundromat, a package store, a ranch, a farm/orchard, a hotel, an insurance agency - all while he was working as a city clerk, mayor, school board, historical society, Masons and Shriner, Treasurer of Nogal camp meeting, founding member of Nogal Presbyterian Church, Lincoln County Hospital Board, Rotary (where he rarely ever missed a meeting). The position he retired from was President of United New Mexico which is now Wells Fargo. After retirement and losing Margaret, he spent his free time volunteering at the Valley of Fires Visitor Center for almost 18 years and enjoying his family.

He was a man of simple pleasures and routines. His day was complete with just a few simple things such as coffee in his red thermos cup, that has never been washed, to smoking his pipe and looking at his beloved mountain Carrizo that he would refer to as "so majestic."
One of his passions was being able to "cowboy" for various ranches around. He loved to hitch a ride in a plane and it didn't make any difference where they were going or who was flying. And oh, he was always up for anything to do with railroads. However, his biggest passion, beside the love for his family, was his love for Carrizozo, Lincoln County and New Mexico.

Johnson walked his faith. We know Christ is so proud of his true and faithful servant. He helped everyone and mostly loved helping the less fortune. He was generous, considerate and so kind. He never said an unkind word about anyone or anything. He never raised his voice or used foul language. He was a true gentleman.

The family wants Johnson's generosity and love for the less fortune to live on forever. In Lieu of flowers, the family has asked that all gifts go to the Amaris Willard Foundation, Inc. at 159 Silver Fox Ln. Alto, NM 88312, which is being established to help families that may be in need after having a child born with a rare genetic disorder called Trisomy 13. A bank account is established at Wells Fargo banks. If you have any questions regarding this foundation please email us at


Funeral Service

Carrizozo High School Gym
D Avenue
Carrizozo, NM  88301
Friday, October 16, 2015
11:00 A.M.


Evergreen Cemetery
Drexel Blvd.
Carrizozo, NM  88301
To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Johnson Stearns, please visit our flower store.


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