Cover photo for Earnest Ellis Johnson's Obituary
Earnest Ellis Johnson Profile Photo

Earnest Ellis Johnson

January 28, 1942 — March 12, 2024


Earnest Ellis Johnson

Earnest Ellis Johnson, 82-year-old Vinita area resident, peacefully transitioned to heaven on March 12, 2024, surrounded by his family. He was born January 28, 1942, in rural Delaware County to Elmer Johnson and Mary (Finney) Vanfleet. Earnest served in the United States Army and was stationed in Thailand during the Vietnam war.

Earnest was a carpenter by trade. He could carve a basket from a peach seed. He made fiddles for grandsons Shelby and Travis. He also built two homes that the family lived in, including building the last home, a two-story frame home, by himself. He invented the Johnson Speed Square Holder and was the all-around “go to” guy for anything you might need to know. Earnest was also a writer of songs and poetry. One of his favorite gospel songs he wrote was titled, “Living Water”.

Earnest never met a stranger and loved to visit with anyone he came across during the day. One of his favorite things to do was to drive around and visit his different cousins in the area, spending time catching up and reminiscing.

Earnest absolutely and whole-heartedly loved the Lord. He thoroughly enjoyed, and rarely missed, the Thursday night singings at Open Door Community Church. Occasionally, he was known to worship the Lord through playing the guitar.

Earnest is survived by his children, Jeannie Hienerman and fiancé, Tony Simmons of Ketchum, Nancy Volkamer and husband, Bret, of Fayetteville, Arkansas, Angie Beeks and husband, Mike, of Ketchum, Travis Allen Johnson and wife, Erin, of Fayetteville, Arkansas, and special-niece that was like a daughter, Vickie Gayer and husband, Brian, of Fayetteville, Arkansas; 10 grandchildren; 7 great-grandchildren; and numerous nieces, nephews, and life-long friends.

He was preceded in death by his parents; siblings, Arthur Johnson, Marvin “Rainwater” Johnson, Dovie Graves, Joy Anderson, and Shirley Johnson.

The family will receive friends in the Luginbuel Funeral Home Chapel from 3:00-5:00 P.M., Sunday, March 17, 2024. The Celebration of Life will be held Monday, March 18, 2024, at 2:00 P.M. at the Open Door Community Church in Ketchum with Pastor William Johnson officiating. Graveside service will follow at Wickliffe Cemetery with Pastor Kris Knotts officiating. Tony Simmons, Bret Volkamer, James Hinkle, Shelby Lester, Travis Dobbs, and Kaleb Beeks will serve as casket bearers.

Online condolences may be made at or on the funeral home Facebook page. Arrangements are in the care of Luginbuel Funeral Home of Vinita.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Earnest Ellis Johnson, please visit our flower store.

Past Services


Sunday, March 17, 2024

3:00 - 5:00 pm (Central time)

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Celebration of Life

Monday, March 18, 2024

Starts at 2:00 pm (Central time)

Open Door Community Church


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