50th Wedding Anniversary
Mr and Mrs O.B. Johnson celebrated their fiftieth wedding anniversary with a reception on August 5, 1990, in the Family Center of the Elm Street Church of Christ. All their friends and relatives were invited to attend.
Host was their daughter and her husband, Mr. and Mrs. Robert G. Lester, and their granddaughters, Angela and Andrea, all of Midland.
The late Preacher Needham married Mary Letha Wright and OB Johnson in Coleman, Texas on August 3, 1940 in front of the Needham Grocery. "Doc" Dobbs, nephew of Mr. Johnson, attended the ceremony.
O.B. was born in Gouldbusk, Texas on Dr. Spruill's farm, April 23, 1917, to the late Polly and Robert (Cooper) Johnson. He was the youngest of eleven children; six boys and five girls. One sister, Mrs. Henry (Mildred) Johnson of Paducah, Texas, and OB are the only remaining children.
Mary was also born in Gouldbusk, Texas on Dr. Spruill's farm August 2, 1920, to the late Martin and Katy Wright. She was one of six children; three boys and three girls. Sisters are Mrs. Christine Dempsey of Coleman, Texas and Mrs. Omie Slate of Santa Anna, Texas. Her brothers are Jessie Wright of Coleman and L.K. Wright of Santa Anna. One brother, William Wright is deceased.
Although Mary and OB were born on the same farm, neither family knew each other. The couple first met in December of 1937 when the car in which she was traveling with her family broke down. OB and his brother, the late Tom Johnson, stopped to help them. The couple met again during Christmas of 1939 at his parent's home in Novice, Texas. Mary went there with her cousin, the late B.T., Pearl Johnson Halford and Pearl's husband, Tom Johnson. "Someone" (Mary never knew who for certain but she has probably lived with him 50 years now) threw a firecracker under her chair because she was to quiet.
When the couple married in 1940, they both worked for the NYA, a government project. During the early years of their marriage, Mr. Johnson worked on the late Henry Bell's ranch, Camp Bowie in Brownwood, Texas and at the Centex Cheese Plant. In November 1942, he enlisted in the Army. He was discharged in November 1943 after a back injury that left him hospitalized a month. At that time he returned to Coleman to work with the Centex Cheese plant again. In 1948, he worked with a construction crew in Midland, Monahans and Odessa, Texas helping to build gas refineries. In 1949, he worked for the Coleman Coca-Cola Co. for a short time before he began working with Coleman Independent Gas Co. From 1951 to 1954, he worked for A&D Construction again building gas refineries in Amarillo, Beeville and Oklahoma.
After that, Mr. Johnson returned to Coleman Independent Gas Co. and in 1968, he was transferred from Coleman to Brownwood. Transferring back to Coleman in 1971, he worked until he took an early retirement in 1973.
The Johnson's then moved to Waco, Texas where he worked for the City of Lacy Lakeview until 1979. They returned to Coleman once again where he worked for the Housing Development under the administration of the late Raymond Childers. In October of 1980, surgery forced OB to retire completely. Present day activities are limited because of his health, but he still enjoys fishing and playing forty-two.
Mrs. Johnson, besides being a homemaker, has worked for Bowie Drug, Owl Drug and Brink's Pharmacy during the years 1956 to 1960. She also worked for Coleman Independent theaters from 1960 to 1967. Mary also enjoys fishing, playing forty-two, doing all kinds of arts and crafts and loves to decorate cakes.