NORMAN — Jerelyn (Jere) Johnson Agar died peacefully in her home in the early morning hours of Friday, June 7, 2013, after a steady decline of health. She was 82. A lifelong Norman resident, Jere was born in Oklahoma City on Oct. 27, 1930, to the Oklahoma pioneering family of Graham Belton Johnson and Genevieve Farrar Johnson.
She was adored by her brother, Graham Belton Johnson Jr. Always bright, humorous and cheerful, Jere was beloved by many for her sense of humor, charity, and feistiness. Jere attended Norman Public Schools before graduating high school from Mount Vernon Seminary and Junior College for Women in Washington, D.C. She also attended Mount Vernon for her Freshman year of college. While there, her brother introduced Jere to James R. (Jim) Agar of Beverly Hills, Calif. It was a romance for the ages.
She returned to Norman where she graduated from the University of Oklahoma with a bachelor’s degree in Social Work in 1952. Jere married Jim on Jan. 3, 1952. The couple celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary five months ago.
After their wedding Jim and Jere shipped out to Germany where Jim served as a field artillery officer and Jere served as a devoted army wife. When his tour of duty was complete, the couple returned to Norman again where they started a family. Jim and Jere adopted four children over the next seven years including Graham Agar of Austin, Texas, Lacy Barrett of Norman, Adrienne Hernandez of San Antonio, and Colonel Jim Agar of Washington, D.C. They purchased and renovated an old farm house on a pecan grove at the corner of Boyd and Pickard.
Jere devoted herself full time to her family and community, raising all four children and volunteering for St. John’s Episcopal Church, Norman Regional Hospital, and the Norman public school system. While a member of the McKinley Elementary School PTA, Jere started the OU game day parking program, a concept that raised enormous funds for the school over several decades.
Norman residents fondly recall Jere hanging large decorations in her yard for Halloween and Christmas for many years. Once her children had grown up, golf served as a focal point in Jere’s life. She distinguished herself by making two documented holes-in-one and winning the Norman women’s golf championship. Jere and Jim spent their summers in Colorado Springs, playing golf and further widening their circle of friends.
In addition to her four children, their spouses and her husband, she is survived by seven grandchildren and two great grandchildren.
She was preceded in death by her father, her mother, and her brother, Graham Belton Johnson Jr., who died in 1951.
Services will be officiated by Father Dwight Helt at Saint John’s Episcopal Church at the corner of Asp and Duffy in Norman, Wednesday at 10 a.m. A reception will follow in the parish hall. Interment will be at the IOOF Cemetery in Norman. Memorial gifts may be made to St. John’s Episcopal Church in Jere’s honor.
Arrangements for Jere and her family were placed in the care of the Vice family at the Havenbrook Funeral Home of Norman, Oklahoma. Online condolences may be shared at havenbrookfuneralhome.com.
Norman Transcript, Wednesday, June 12, 2013