Russell Wright Johnson, 75, of Paso Robles, passed away on Dec. 26 with his wife and daughter by his side. Russell was born on Sept. 3, 1943, in Salinas, Calif. He was the eldest son of Jesse Charles and Elizabeth (Baker) Johnson. He graduated from Salinas High School and married his sweetheart from middle school, Cheryl (Lo Presti) Johnson, on Nov. 30, 1963. They celebrated their 55th anniversary this year and had been together for 62 years.
Russell retired from PG&E after 25 years of service. He spent his retirement doing what he loved: working on and collecting cars. His favorite was his 1955 Bel Air. He and Cheryl made life-long friends through the Golden State Classic Car Club. Russell was the liaison to the City of Paso Robles for the yearly car show held in town. He had also been a member of the Elks since he was 21 years old. His friends and family knew not to call on Sundays because he would be watching NASCAR and refused to answer the phone.
Russell is survived by his wife Cheryl, their daughter Toni Elizabeth (Johnson) Connors and husband Brian Fisher Connors, son Shane Thomas Johnson, grandchildren Hillary Rose and Dean Russell Connors, brothers Richard (Prisila) Johnson of San Luis Obispo and Thomas (Janet) Johnson of Chico, as well as numerous nieces and nephews, and the Johnson family of Monterey County. He was preceded in death by his parents, Jesse Charles and Elizabeth Johnson.
Services will be held on Jan. 5, 2019, at 11 a.m. at the Kuehl-Nicolay Funeral home, located at 1703 Spring St. in Paso Robles. A reception will immediately follow at Kings Oil Tools, 2235 Spring St., Paso Robles. Please direct any questions to Toni Connors at 808-990-7853. Donations in memory of Russell can be made to the Golden State Classic Car Club, C/O Ronnie Maxwell, for their support of local charities.