1:13 PM PST, January 3, 2013
Gary George Johnson
Gary passed away December 22, 2012 at Hoag Hospital with loving hospital staff, family, and minister at his side. He was born in Youngstown, Ohio on December 18, 1938 to Dorothy Pearl Burke and George Gustaf Lars Johnson. He was raised in Huntington Beach on the corner of Slater and Hwy 39. He went to Ocean View Elementary and a Graduate of Huntington Beach High School Class of 1957 and attended Orange Coast College. He is survived by his wife of 53 years Evelyn Taylor Johnson, son, Matt Johnson Orange CA; daughters, Julia Case Costa Mesa CA, Jill (Sonny) Mendonca Garden Grove CA; Grandson Drake Brunette; Granddaughters, Kaila and Leah Mendonca; Mother, Dorothy Tauber-Poling Yakima, WA; Sisters, Deborah (John) Mertell Yakima, WA, Susan Tauber Long Beach CA and many nieces, nephews, relatives and friends. Predeceased by his father, George Johnson; Step Father, Conrad Tauber; Brother, Bruce Tauber; Son-in-law, George Case Jr.; Daughter-in-law, Yvonne Johnson.
Gary loved sports and excelled in basketball and baseball winning championships and accolades. After his freshman year at OCC, in 1958, Doc Bennett signed him to a contract with the Chicago White Sox and that was the beginning of a 54 year career in Professional Baseball. He felt he was the luckiest man in the world to have family, friends and a game to go to. He worked for the Chicago White Sox for 25 years; as a minor league player, minor league manager, scout and West Coast Supervisor, 2 years with the Texas Rangers as a scout and the last 27 years as a scout for the Kansas City Royals. He joined The Royals in 1985 the year they won the World Series. He got a ring, life was good.
Gary was a member of the Association of Professional Ballplayers of America (all 54 years), Chaplain and member Southern California Professional Baseball Scouts Association, Board of Directors OCC Alumni and Friends, Huntington Beach Alumni, Blackie’s Thursday Lunch Group and member First United Methodist Church Costa Mesa.
Three awards he was most humbled and blessed to receive: The Daily Pilot Millennium Sports Hall of Fame, OCC Distinguished Alumni for year 2012 and Scouts Foundation Legends of the Game Award 2013
A Celebration of Life Service will be on January 27, 2012 at 2pm at First United Methodist Church 420 W. 19th Street Costa Mesa. In lieu of flowers donations can be made to the Endowment Fund of the church or The Professional Baseball Scouts Foundation 5010 N Parkway Calabasas, Suite 201 Calabasas, CA 91302.