Obituary: Francis Neil Johnson II

Francis Neil Johnson II

Francis Neil Johnson II

Francis Neil Johnson II

1949 - 2023

Francis Neil Johnson II of Cottonwood, Arizona passed away peacefully with his loved ones gathered by his side on July 15, 2023. He was 74 years young.

Neil was born to Francis Johnson and Mabel Hilton in Santa Ana, California on July 10, 1949. He grew up in Surf City Huntington Beach, California, where he met in grade school and eventually married Margaret C. Johnson on Jan. 24, 1970. Shortly after graduation from high school, he joined the United States Air Force and was stationed at Clark AFB in the Philippines as a mechanic with the 604th Military Airlift Support Squadron where he made Staff Sergeant in record time at just 22 months. He was then stationed at Luke AFB in Phoenix and had been living in Arizona for 51 years, 43 of those years in Cottonwood.

Upon his honorable discharge from the USAF in 1972, Neil helped to raise his three children Corbin, Christopher and Amanda while enjoying a successful 43-year career in telecommunications where his later years were spent specializing in fiber optics. He worked as a Lead Network Technician and was lovingly referred to as the “Mayor of Anthem” due to his astute skill level in his field.

He also competed in the ADRA 250-mile desert motorcycle races, was a volunteer firefighter for the Cottonwood Fire Dept., and later returned to his roots with the USAF Reserve at Luke AFB where he served with the 944th Fighter Wing. He had a passion for all things aviation, especially from the WWII era, and was a proud USAF veteran. Neil was well known for his love of Mustangs, classic cars, and high performance vehicles, as well as being an avid reader. After retiring in 2016, he was often found enjoying cigars and whiskey with his close friends and sons.

Neil was preceded in death by his parents Francis and Mabel Johnson, his brother Steve, and his sister Elizabeth (Babe). He is survived by his wife Margie Johnson of Cottonwood, his sister Rosalie Johnson of Dewey, Arizona, children Corbin Johnson of Roy, Washington, Christopher Johnson of Puyallup, Washington, and Amanda Jankowiak of Mesa, Arizona, and four grandchildren.

A funeral will be held 11 a.m., Thursday, Aug. 17 at the Riverside National Cemetery followed by a Celebration of Life which will include cigars and whiskey.

Information provided by the family.

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