Chet E. Johns, age 77, passed away peacefully after a brief illness on March 15th, 2011. He was born on Nov 13th, 1933 in Phoenix to Chester Willis Johns and Genevieve Crockett Johns. He was the older brother to Richard Crockett Johns.
After 4 years in Tucson at the UofA as an Agriculture major and a member of Sigma Chi Fraternity he returned to Phoenix and his “sweetheart” Kay Diane James. They were married after their 5 year courtship and last December 28th celebrated their 55th anniversary.
Chet’s diversity of interests as a person were reflected in his accomplishments. Chet and his father farmed lettuce and cotton in the west valley by Luke Field and in Texas. Chet served as Chairman of the Board of Pesticide Control and as President of the Sheriffs Posse of Maricopa County. Chet served on and chaired the Arizona Racing Commission and was President of the Arizona Quarter Horse Breeders Association. Of note were his years as president of the Arizona National Livestock Show, an event he loved. A successful trainer and breeder of Quarter horses and Thoroughbreds. Chet and Kay had numerous State and National champions, winning race horses, futurity winners and a World Champion cutting horse in 1975.
Chet was an avid private pilot (getting his license and a plane on his 16th birthday) Yachtsman & Sailor (long time San Diego Yacht Club member), enjoying homes in Lake Tahoe and La Jolla, motorcycle enthusiast, cyclist, blacksmith, rock hound, art and antique collector, reader and humorist, all of which were done with great proficiency.
One of his greatest legacies was his omnipresence with his “sweetheart” Kay, his 2 sons and Grandchildren. Son: Chester Bryan Johns and his 3 sons Blake, Jeffrey and Trevor and son: Steven James Johns and his wife Kinga and their daughter Rachel and son Chet Steven Johns will ensure that his spirit will live on. An avid supporter of each and every endeavor pursued by them and his presence at a myriad of sporting events supporting them saw him touch many young lives.
Chet is survived by the aforementioned family members, and a host of other relatives of which we are all a part and the depth of our missing him will keep him within us. We love you and will miss you!
Celebration of Life Wednesday, March 23, 2011 at 4:00pm Brophy Chapel, 4701 North Central Avenue, Phoenix.
Your prayers in lieu of flowers are greatly appreciated.
George Strubbe and family (Connie, Jan, Steve, and Ronda)
We were all so sorry to hear about Chet. He was a wonderful and caring man and will be greatly missed. Our thoughts and prayers go out to the family.
Our deepest sympathy to Kay, Steve, Bryan and their families. Chet was truly one of the best all around people that we have known which made us proud to call him family.
Steve, Gina, Sam and Spencer Strubbe
Though I did not know Chet, but briefly, he was always a gentleman who adored his wife & family. I know how difficult this is for you at this time. 55 years is more than most people get to enjoy together & you are among the lucky. Of course the longer you are with someone the more difficult it is to accept the rite of passing & the absence of your lifetime partner. You can take comfort from your wonderful family & friends when you need to, & do just that. I wish you God’s comfort & blessings as you face the future. Sincere Regards, Georgia
Dr. Candis Whitecraft Wilhoit
Dear Kay and Family,
It was so sad to hear of Chet’s passing. Knowing your family so well growing up in Phoenix, I have many, many fond memories of Chet and his wonderful sense of humor. You were both so kind to me growing up, feeding the horses with Steve–the love of my life- I have never forgotten his correcting my grammar one time, “saying never end a sentence with a preposition”. It must have worked as I completed my B.S., summa cum laude, M.A., magna cum laude; and Ph.D. at Harvard University, later teaching Management Communication in the graduate MBA program