Home Records Obituaries Sylvester Parsons “Buzz” Johnson III

Sylvester Parsons “Buzz” Johnson III


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Sylvester Parsons “Buzz” Johnson III passed away May 26 at the age of 89. He was born in Roswell, New Mexico on November 11, 1931 to S. P. “Syl” Johnson Jr. and Geraldine Ogle Johnson. He attended schools in Roswell and graduated from the New Mexico Military Institute in 1949 and the University of New Mexico in 1954 with a bachelor’s degree in Business. In 1953, he married Barbara Jo (B.J.) Leferink. After graduation from UNM, he and B.J. moved to Hayward, California where he was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant at Parks Air Force Base and served until 1956 after which he returned to Roswell to raise sheep and cattle on the family ranch with his father.

In 1977 Buzz began to focus on investments, oil and gas interests, and real estate. He was civically active serving as a Chaves County Commissioner in the early 1970s and President of the Alumni Association of New Mexico Military Institute. He also enjoyed his long-time membership in the Roswell Rotary Club and joining many of his friends for weekly lunches.

Buzz enjoyed flying his various Cessna airplanes from Roswell to the SP Johnson Ranch and around the Southwest. He logged over 3,300 hours and had no trouble landing on a short dirt runway. He was a pioneer in ballooning and a part owner of the original NMMI balloon. He enjoyed golfing, fishing and traveling many parts of the world with his beloved wife and many friends.

Buzz is survived by his son S.P. “Chip” Johnson IV and wife Lori of Houston, Texas including grandchildren Elise Swann and husband Evans and two great grandsons, Rowland and Crawford; Layne Johnson; Julia Craig and husband Wilson; and Joel Johnson and his wife Peg LaPLante of Columbine Valley, Colorado including grandchildren Rachel Johnson and Mitchell Johnson. He also has two surviving nieces, Kelly Vicente in Roswell and Tracy Thompson in Lubbock, Texas. He was preceded in death by his wife, Barbara Jo, and his sister, Patricia “Tish” Cooper.

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The family would like to thank all the caregivers and staff of Comfort Keepers, Peachtree Village, Heartfelt Manor and Kindred Hospice for the kindness and support that they provided to Buzz over the last few years.

Services will be held at the First Presbyterian Church of Roswell in late-July where he was a life-long member and Elder. For those who wish to remember Buzz with a charitable contribution, please direct contributions to the Assurance Home in Roswell.

Arrangements have been entrusted to Ballard Funeral Home and Crematory. An online registry can be accessed at www.ballardfuneralhome.com.

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