Cover photo for Coyote Johnson's Obituary
Coyote Johnson Profile Photo

Coyote Johnson

October 4, 1933 — February 29, 2020

Coyote Johnson

Coyote was born on October 4, 1933 to Silver Glen and Modena (Wilcoxson) Johnson in Terlton, Oklahoma. He worked on the family ranch alongside his dad and 3 brothers; Tally, Muggyown, and Woodly, they raised cattle, hauled hay, picked cotton, and anything else that was needed done on the farm. He grew up exploring Pawnee and Creek Counties and was a history buff on the triangle country and the Land Run. Coyote attended grade school and high school in Terlton.

After graduating high school he started college in Stillwater at A & M which is now Oklahoma State University, Coyote was there 2 years before being drafted into the military in 1954. He was stationed in Kaiserslautern, Germany with the Army Corps of Engineers and worked in the supply depot as a service engineer. His service was after WWII during peace time but much of Germany had been bombed out during the war and was still that way, there were big holes in the Autobahn and everywhere in industrial Germany was ruins. Coyote took his 3 and 4 day passes and instead of partaking in the German brew, he would go on trips riding the trains to the surrounding countries; seeing the Swiss Alps, the Fjords, toured the Neuschwanstein Castle, and he was in Berlin before there was even a wall between the East and the West. He would later base his dream home with Mona on design elements he viewed in that castle. These 2 years in the military overseas gave him time to travel and see many different countries around Europe and have lots of interesting meetings and adventurers.

When he came home from the military his dad thought he should come back to working on the ranch but Coyote had his sights on the sky. He applied for a job as a drafter with Burtek, a company that manufactured aircraft training aids in the 50's & 60's. The position had been taken that morning but they were sure they could use him so he got hired anyway. Coyote had a talent for being able to fix problems that others above him and with big degrees just couldn't figure out. He was quite the engineer on making things work that didn't and being able to do it with simple tools and usually very cheaply with stock parts. He was called on for a problem with an aircrafts landing gear that would lower down but get stuck when raising, he found a solution that didn't require scrapping the entire landing gear housing and starting from scratch. He continued working with Burtek but he and a couple of other employees felt they would never get anywhere with this company and the way it did business. So in 1965 Coyote along with Ron McCutcheon and Jack Long started a company called GEMCO and the birth of their vision for the future of training aids for airlines started. Within 2 years the company had grown from 3 employees(them) to 100 and they built cockpit procedure trainers(pilots,co-pilots,aircrew needed hours in these to get certified) for Boeing 707, 727, 737, Jetliners; Douglas DC-9; Convair 580 & 880. Their customers included 20 airlines, both foreign and domestic; the Federal Aviation Agency; McDonnell Douglas and several universities. They added Boeing 747 Jetliners to the lineup and did 23 of the 26 worldwide. Coyote was so knowledgeable in the field of flight and had worked well with Convair and Lockheed that he got a call from NASA in the late 60's about some work for them. With highest level security, he helped with the Atlas rocket propulsion system for shuttle launches.

Coyote met the love of his life in Ramona (Mona) Powell and on September 19, 1963 they became husband and wife and made their new home together in Tulsa.

Coyote and Mona would travel all over the United States to promote the business at trade shows and would enjoy different places on their travels. They enjoyed going to Lake Tahoe and taking their time spending the day driving around the lake just looking at the scenery. They toured all over Hollywood and the Universal Studios backlot. His joy in life was spending time with his wife and making her happy. After many years as the Vice President of GEMCO and it's growth to 200 employees he decided it was time to sell his stock and move on to a new chapter in his life. That company merged and then eventually became a part of Flight Safety in Broken Arrow, a Berkshire Hathaway holding which is owned by Warren Buffett.

Coyote and Ron decided to form a new company and go into the new CDL (Commercial Drivers License) automated testing systems. They developed training manuals and the questions for the test. There was little competition for this type of work, so it was a very lucrative business. This new company served about half of the states and half the providences of Canada. Coyote and Mona got to do and see a lot more of the United States and many parts of Canada. Traveling together and working together as a team with his wife made Coyote happy and prosperous in their lives. Throughout the years they had also been investing and saving for their dream home, Coyote had also got his real estate license to save those fees if he found investment property for them.

Coyote and Mona had bought land less than a block from their house and when it was time to start building a retirement home, that was the place they decided to build it. He purchased 2 lots and thought once they cleared it and decided which to build on they would sell the other, but when their dream became reality they needed both. Coyote put his heart into this house for him and Mona, it was everything she wanted in a house, she loved to read so it had a library. It has an office and a great room with a fireplace, and Coyote has to do as much of the detail work himself, which of course he did. It took a total of 6 years from start to finish and was truly a labor of love and hard work, but there is no doubt when he shows it, he's proud of what he accomplished and anyone who has been there can see it's beauty.

Coyote had worked the land in Pawnee and Creek county growing up and knew it so well that he had wrote several books on the history of the area including a write up on the path of Washington Irving; Julie Brady Ratliff used his same path in her "A Tour on the Prairies", a meeting with William "Bill" Hale who "Killers of the Flower Moon" is based on, Triangle country, his family heritage Florer family, among many others. In his college days he said when he got his papers back from his English professor there was more red ink on it for mistake. Coyote had improved from those younger days in his writing skills and had a great passion for the history of this land and it's people and their heritage.

Coyote was preceded in death by his beloved wife Ramona (Mona) Powell Johnson, parents: Silver Glen, Modena (Wilcoxson), brothers: Woodly, Muggyown, Tally, father and mother-in-law: Walter Raymond and Luetta (Estes) Powell, sister-in-laws: Inez, Georgia Ann, Bobbie, Virginia, Bessie, Lou, brother-in-law: Walter (Bud) Powell and a nephew Monty Johnson. He is survived by brother-in-law: Leon/Carol Powell. Sister-in-law: Signe Howe Powell.

Coyote lived a remarkable life and he will be deeply missed by his surviving nieces, nephews, cousins, friends and acquaintances.

He leaped from this life into the loving arms of his wife Mona on February 29, 2020 and started their eternal journey in Heaven together. Leaving behind the earthly body and it's boundaries and the heartache he felt of life without her for 2 1/2 years.

Funeral services will be held 2:00 pm, Saturday, March 7, 2020 in the Chapman-Black Funeral Home Chapel with Rev. David Head officiating. Burial follow in the Woodland Cemetery. Chapman-Black Funeral Home is handling the arrangements.

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Friday, March 6, 2020

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Saturday, March 7, 2020

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