Richard J. Johnson, 68, of Alamogordo, New Mexico, passed away on May 10, 2019. He was born on June 16, 1950 in Lawrence, Kansas to Rolly Johnson and Vivian McVey Johnson. Richard grew up in El Paso, Texas and Ava, Missouri. Richard later built a home in Carlsbad, New Mexico where he married Dion Kidd-Johnson, the third marriage for both, and enjoyed 28 years together in Carlsbad and Alamogordo, New Mexico.
Richard had an entrepreneurial spirit and varied masterful skills that led him on a fascinating work journey. His varied work over the years included, among other things, mechanics positions beginning in his early teens in El Paso, Texas, driving a tractor trailer hauling and delivery mattresses, a salesman for kitchen cabinets, and driving a tour bus. After moving to Carlsbad in the early 1980s, Richard’s passion for cars led him to build and operate the first quick oil change business in Carlsbad on Pierce Street, originally called The Pit Stop. Richard also built the Carlsbad Speedway, a drag strip on the south side of town where he continued to serve as the announcer long after selling the drag racing operation. When the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant opened in Carlsbad, Richard seized the opportunity to exercise his management skills and joined the early engineering department. Later in the mid-1990s, with the love and encouragement of his wife, Richard fulfilled his dream of owning his own used car dealership, the Auto Connection, which first opened as a small car lot on Canal Street and later expanded to a larger location on South Canyon Street. When moving to Alamogordo to support his wife’s career, Richard first served as a “bank-owned” property manager at Western Bank and was later hired by Alamogordo Investments, LLC to manage its various real estate and business operations in Alamogordo, one of which is the Desert Mountain Estates. He proudly worked for the company until his untimely death. Richard’s boundless energy and warm smile will be dearly missed by many.
He was preceded in death by his father, Rolly Johnson, his mother, Vivian McVey Johnson, and half brother, Michael Croy.
He leaves behind his wife, Dion Kidd-Johnson of Alamogordo, New Mexico; half-sister, Linda Gschwind Schuetz of El Paso, Texas; daughter, Sarah Canberg and husband, Kevin Canberg, and granddaughter, Sarrah Darcy Canberg of Basking Ridge, New Jersey; as well as one niece, and two nephews.
The family will greet friends from 5:00 pm to 7:00 pm on Wednesday, May 15, 2019 at the Alamogordo Funeral Home Chapel.
The Funeral Service will be conducted at Alamogordo Funeral Home on Thursday, May 16, 2019 at 4:00 pm, with Bruce Freeman officiating.
Graveside funeral service will be held at Barnes Cemetery in Fayetteville, Tennessee with Higgins Funeral Home on Saturday, May 18, 2019 at 12 PM.