Johnnie Nelson Day

Joe Denoyer - May 17, 2023 8:52 pm

Johnnie Nelson Day, 80, of Alvarado, TX passed away from this life on Tuesday, May 9th, 2023. A celebration of his life will be held Saturday, June 3, at 10:00 am, at Clayton Kay Vaughan Funeral Home located at 200 East Patton Alvarado, TX 76009.

Johnnie’s life was characterized by duty to country, dedication to his family and friends and devotion to his Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Johnnie was born May 9, 1943, in Thomas, Oklahoma to Flora Mae and Charles Lee Day. He was the fifth child born to the pair, of the six they shared. After his father died tragically in 1947, John McNitt married Flora Mae and became a model stepfather to Johnnie and all the Day children. The McNitts went on to add two more children to their brood, bringing the total to eight.

Johnnie spoke fondly of growing up in a big family. His childhood was rich in love and full of outdoor adventures. Johnnie delighted in fishing and hunting and “doing life” with his siblings, who were his built-in best friends. Johnnie spent many happy hours at the family automotive repair business where he bonded with his dad and brothers, and learned skills he utilized a lifetime. Johnnie was passionate about athletics and participated in everything from football, to diving and wrestling in school. Upon his graduation from Liberal High School, he attended Phillips University in Enid, Oklahoma.

Johnnie enlisted in the U.S. Army from 1964 until 1970, where he served in Vietnam, as a surgeon’s assistant. After serving his country, Johnnie returned home from Vietnam and moved to Texas. Soon after, he got married and became a devoted father to his beloved children- Jeannette and Johnny.

Johnnie worked as a salesman in the oil and gas industry. He stayed active competing in tennis, golf, basketball and softball along with competitive shooting. He loved fast cars and rode Harley Davidson motorcycles up to age 79. Johnnie kept his mind sharp by working crossword puzzles daily and debating politics and current events at local coffee shops, for decades.

Johnnie relished his role as a grandfather and never missed an opportunity to attend a baseball game, dance recital, graduation, birthday party or holiday gathering. His grandchildren cherish the memories of his “Dad jokes” and drinking “cowboy coffee” with him early in the morning.

Johnnie’s later-in-life, thirteen-year marriage to his beloved Leona, was a gift to the entire family, and evidence of a very personal God who continues to richly bless and surprise us with desires of our hearts, for all our days. Leona went home to be with the Lord eleven months ago, but during their time together on this side of Heaven, the happy couple enjoyed a beautiful season which included scenic motorcycle trips, Sunday drives in the Slingshot and vacations at the coast. They deeply appreciated living in the country, gardening, caring for their animals and simple pleasures such as sunrises and sunsets. The duo especially cherished time with their blended family. Perhaps what they loved most of all was dancing together- which is precisely how their family and friends envision them these days.

Johnnie was preceded in death by his beloved wife Leona, his dear father, Charles Lee Day, his cherished mother, Flora Mae McNitt, his esteemed stepfather John McNitt, beloved siblings Charles Day and wife Shirley, Ida Mae Rowe and husband Gary, Mary Jo Hughan and husband Daryl, Theodore “Theo” Day, Ronald “Ronnie” Day and wife June.

Those left to treasure his memory include his daughter Jeannette Gist and husband Randy of Abilene, TX, son Johnny Day and wife Martha of Odessa, TX, (“Blended family” daughter) Crystal and husband Barry of Grandview, TX, sister Linda and husband Dana Rinehart of Fargo, OK, brother George and wife Ginny of Liberal, KS, grandchildren Alexa-Rae Gist, Bryce Gist, Zackary Garza, Bree Day, Mason Copely, Cassidy Neal and husband Chad, great-grandson Bishop Neal, as well as numerous dearly loved nieces and nephews.

In lieu of flowers the family invites memorial contributions to the VFW.

The family wishes to thank the Johnson County Sheriff’s Office, The Greenbriar Baptist Church and the many friends who have been so supportive during this time.

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