Richard Johnson

February 28, 2001 12:00 am

Richard Johnson, 95, Brookings, died Feb. 23, 2001, at home.

He was born Oct. 21, 1905, in Glenwood, Minn.

He was a commercial artist working in outdoor advertising. He painted the first billboard for Toyota, his family said.

He became a plein-air artist in the 1930s and painted many landscapes and seascapes with the Long Beach Spectrum Club. He painted extensively in his travels throughout the West.

During World War II, he served in the Army Air Corps as a pilot and aeronautical engineer at Douglas Aircraft.

His education included forestry, engineering and studies to become a certified California teacher.

Mr. Johnson taught oil and watercolor classes at Orange Coast College and Coastline Community College for 30 years, as a founding member of the faculty.

His art included desert, harbor and historical settings representing the California School of Painting. He exhibited in club shows, competitions and galleries.

He was commissioned to create the 24-foot mosaic of Christ when his church, Grace Methodist in Long Beach, Calif., was rebuilt in 1966.

Mr. Johnson trained at the Chouinard Art Institute in Los Angeles. He studied oil painting with Nicholai Fechin, Sam Hyde Harris and Richard Munsell. He studied watercolors under Rex Brandt, Robert E. Woods and others.

He was a member of the American Watercolor Society, the Laguna Beach Art Association, Long Beach Spectrum Club, Long Beach Art Association, Traditional Artists Guild of Paramount, Desert Art Center of Palm Springs and Pelican Bay Art Association in Brookings. He is chronicled in Artists in California 1780-1940.

He married Dorothy Johnson in 1987. They moved to Brookings from Seal Beach, Calif., in 1991.

Survivors are his wife Dorothy Johnson of Brookings; stepdaughter and son-in-law Patricia and Richard Calkins of Brookings; stepson and daughter-in-law Lincoln and Patricia ODell of Irvine, Calif.

Preceding him in death was his first wife Betty Johnson.

A private family interment was held Feb. 26. A memorial service is planned for a later date.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made in his name to the South Coast Humane Society, P.O. Box 7833, Brookings, OR 97415

Arrangements are under the direction of Litty Funeral Directors, Brookings Chapel.