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Obituary: Neal Sox Johnson

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Neal Sox Johnson, 90, of Temple, Texas, passed away peacefully on Nov. 18, 2023.

Oscar Neal Johnson was born Feb. 14, 1933, in Murfreesboro Ark., one of five children of the late Olvy Johnson and former Elsie Faye Keeling, and he would eventually change his name from Oscar to his nickname of Sox.

In high school Sox played on both the football and basketball teams, became an excellent tennis player and avid golfer. As part of its annual convention, the Rural Rental Housing Association holds the annual Neal “Dirty Sox” Johnson Golf Classic, named in his honor. Sox lived a long full life developing friends and success everywhere, as a Second Lieutenant in the Army, graduate from Henderson State College, Physics Teacher, Architect builder, and he eventually went into politics becoming a political appointee in the Department of Agriculture’s Farmers Home Administration, serving under Presidents Nixon, Ford, Reagan, and Bush. Sox was a leader in the movement to revitalize the Republican Party in Arkansas during the 60’s and early 70’s but Sox’s main success in life was developing positive relationships with people – Sox will be missed by family, friends, colleagues, and the many casual strangers he helped.

He survived by his daughter, Tena Duncan; son, Olvy; five grandchildren, five great-grandchildren, and his closest friends that watched over him in his later years — Shirley Ganson, the Reverend Shelton Rhodes, and all the great folks at Canyon Creek of Temple Texas.

Sox was preceded in death by his wife, the former Carmen Louise Webb and son Neal Steven. Sox will be laid to rest in the family’s hometown of Nashville Ark., with service date to be determined, alongside his late wife Carmen Louise, son Neal Steven, and their best dog ever, Flick.

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