Melvin Hayden Johnson Jr.
February 13, 1942 – January 28, 2024
We are sad to announce the passing of Melvin Hayden Johnson, Jr on January 28th while surrounded by his family and the loving staff at the Tiffin House in Georgetown, TX. Melvin was an incredible husband, father, grandfather, son, brother, friend and community member who made a point to improve the lives of all around him everywhere he went.
Melvin was born on Feb 13,1942 to Melvin Johnson Sr. and Atemsa Leissner Johnson. Melvin’s father passed away before he turned two and he was adopted by his incredible step father OJ Lamb after the war. OJ was his hero. He and Atemsa raised Melvin along with his younger sister Lana in Baytown, TX. He was deeply influenced by his many uncles and his Grandpa (Jake) Leissner. He was proud of his work as a lifeguard and swim teacher in addition to his football exploits at Lee High School in Baytown, TX.
All who knew Dad recognized him as a proud first generation graduate of Texas A&M Class of ‘64. He spent his time there in the Corps of Cadets where he met his closest lifelong friends. His sons often referred to him as “The” Aggie due to his lifelong commitment to the school, including many years of service as his Class Agent responsible for class gatherings and communications. He rarely missed an opportunity to watch a football game with his best friend Jerry and implored all young people who would listen to attend the school. He went on to earn multiple graduate degrees and certifications over his banking and military careers.
Melvin met Juanita McKay on a blind date in college in 1962 and never left her side once they were married in 1964. They raised three boys and a whole host of grandkids. Melvin was a devoted husband who loved Juanita above all until Sunday when he solicited a kiss from her as his last conscious act on Earth.
After college, Melvin worked in the banking industry while simultaneously serving as an officer in the Army Reserves. He began his banking career at Frost Bank in San Antonio and went on to serve at the First National Bank of Kerrville and then led Citizens State Bank in Ganado, TX. He finished his career spending many years as the President of First Lockhart National Bank. As the quintessential “small town banker,” he was active in the Chamber of Commerce, his local churches, Rotary and booster clubs. He worked to know, befriend and support as many people as he could find in his communities. He also served on the Board of Directors at The Federal Home Loan Bank of Dallas. He and his wife Juanita retired in 2007 in order to move to Georgetown to spend time with their sons and their families. At the same time, Melvin served for 30 years in the US Army Reserves in many roles including General’s Aide, Battalion Commander and West Point Recruiter. He retired with the rank of Colonel.
Melvin’s most impactful role, however, was his role as a father to three sons and a surrogate father to many more. He was a model father who was very proud of “his three boys.” Anyone who met Melvin would soon know all about his boys, as well as many of their friends whom he helped raise, encourage and mentor.
As a first generation college graduate, Melvin was passionate about education and spent many years helping young people achieve their collegiate goals. He began these efforts by supporting his younger cousins as they followed in his footsteps at TAMU. He continued in earnest in Kerrville where he worked directly with many of his sons’ peers to support their goals of attaining a college degree. He formalized that by serving as an admissions representative for West Point. Today those young men have worked as technology leaders, doctors, scientists, insurance providers, war heroes, dentists, staff members for the National Security Council, pilots, coaches, teachers, school administrators and senior Army officers. His impact was wide and deep across many of their lives.
He had two signature lines which were, ”Keep on keepin’ on with the Lord’s help” and “I love you more.” These phrases sum up our father’s attitude about life. He put in great effort in all that he did, but in a way that ensured everyone around him knew how deeply he cared about them. He invested his life in the people around him and his departure left a hole which is difficult to fill.
Melvin is survived by his wife of nearly 60 years Juanita and their three sons Hayden, Heath and Marc as well as his sister Lana Lauderdale and her family. He left ten beloved grandchildren (Hays, Maggie, Walker, Tiki, Dax, Jake, Gabby, Reagan, Hayden and Allie), in addition to his first born grandchild, Mackay, who passed two years to the day before Melvin. He is also survived by dozens of young(er) people who felt his positive impact in their lives over many years. We will be honored at First Baptist Church Georgetown on Friday, February 9th at 10:00. All are welcome. An internment at the Central Texas State Veterans Cemetery will follow at 2:00pm.
We miss you, Dad, and hope to make you proud.