Cortland Arthur Johnson, born August 13th, 1938, in Minneapolis, Minnesota, to Elias Arthur Johnson and Nadine Isabel Freed, passed away at the age of 81 in his home in Oakhurst on December 20th, 2019.
At the age of nineteen, Cortland enlisted in the Navy, where he served on the USS Stoddard until his last duty assignment on the USS Henderson. His rank listed on his DD-214 is E-3. Not long after the Navy, he went to work at a company called Korad in Santa Monica, where on his first day at work he proposed to a shocked accounting clerk. Over the next few days she arrived at work to find flowers and poems on her desk. Six months later he married that accounting clerk, Nancy Ann Pealer, in Ladera, CA.
Later in life Cortland attained his Bachelors in Engineering from California State University at Long Beach. Cortland was already working at McDonald Douglas — which was later bought by Boeing — as a Quality Control Specialist, where he continued to work until he retired in 2003. In 1992, Cortland and Nancy bought property on Pamela Place in Oakhurst, built a home and it later became the Oakawhnee Ranch Alpacas.
Nancy went to work as a Special Education Teacher at Mariposa High School while Cortland spent his retirement selling their alpaca products at various craft shows in California and Nevada. Cortland also spent his time as a member of the Lions Club International and the Kiwanis Club of Oakhurst. He enjoyed acting at the Golden Chain Theatre, volunteering at Camp Pacifica and visiting his daughter’s school dressed as Santa. He volunteered often as a chaperone on field trips when she was young. He spent the last couple years working around the property, selling alpaca products and caring for his wife, who is continuing to battle cancer.
Cortland is preceded in death by his parents Nadine and Elias, and his daughter Jennifer. He is survived by his wife Nancy of Oakhurst, his daughter Courtney of North Fork, his son Russ (wife Yvonne) of New Mexico, his grandchildren Felicia, Hunter, Mavis and Lilliana of North Fork; his grandchildren Evelyn, Christian, Johannah, of New Mexico, and several cousins in the western United States and Hawaii.
A GoFundMe page for cremation assistance has been created at:
GoFundMe – Cortland Arthur Johnson.