NORMAN — Cynthia Ann “Cindy” Dew Johnson, 75, a longtime Norman resident and wife of OU director of football operations Merv Johnson, died Sunday, Oct. 6, 2013, at Crossroads Hospice House after a brief illness.
Cindy was born Sept. 17, 1938, in Kansas City, Mo., to Leon and Dorothy Dew. The family moved to Mountain Home, Ark. where she attended elementary and high schools. She graduated from the University of Arkansas, Fayetteville, where she met and married Merv, then a Razorbacks assistant coach. Their three children — Jan, Jeff and Jill — were born during their time in Fayetteville. They moved to South Bend, Ind., in 1975 when Merv became the offensive coordinator at Notre Dame University.
In 1979, they came to Norman when their friend from Arkansas, Barry Switzer, hired Merv as his assistant head coach at OU. Cindy immediately became an avid Sooner fan and was active in the University Women’s Association, P.E.O., Assistance League of Norman and Kappa Kappa Gamma Alumnae Club. Raised an Episcopalian, in Norman, Cindy became a faithful member of the McFarlin Memorial United Methodist Church but could be seen annually at St. John’s Episcopal Church’s Blessing of the Animals.
Cindy’s love of animals was legendary. She rescued countless dogs and cats, and if she could not find them homes, she took them to hers. She could be seen daily walking each of her dogs miles around her neighborhood and on the OU campus. An ardent photographer, she somehow persuaded three of her favorite dogs — Dotty, Star and Buddy — to pose in holiday garb, their photos featured in The Norman Transcript, on Gary England’s TV show and in stores throughout the community.
Briefly an elementary teacher before her children were born, Cindy eventually returned to work at several Norman and Campus Corner retail establishments, The Snappy Fox, Athletic Village, Balfour’s and, most recently, Antique Garden.
She was preceded in death by her parents; a brother, Leon Dew III; an infant daughter, Judith Ellen; and a daughter, Jill Johnson Foster.
Cindy is survived by her husband of 53 years; a daughter, Janet Ann Burr and her husband Michael of Hinsdale Ill.; a son, Jeffrey Johnson and his wife Debe of Tulsa; grandchildren Haley, Riley and Charlie Burr, Davis, Preston and Macy Johnson and Jack Foster; a sister-in-law, Jenny Dew; and nieces Debra Chaney and Leslie Dew.
Visitation will be from noon to 8 p.m. today at Havenbrook Funeral Home, 3401 Havenbrook St. in Norman.
Memorial services will begin at 1 p.m. Wednesday at the McFarlin Memorial United Methodist Church, 419 S. University Blvd. in Norman, with the Rev. Linda Harker officiating. In lieu of home visits, the family invites Cindy’s friends to visit with them at a reception in the church atrium following the service.
Second Chance Animal Sanctuary Inc., 4500 24th Ave. NW, Norman OK 73069, is suggested as appropriate for memorials in Cindy’s name.
Arrangements for Cindy and her family were placed in the care of the Vice family at Havenbrook Funeral Home in Norman.
Online condolences may be shared at havenbrookfuneralhome.com.
Norman Transcript, Tuesday, Oct. 8, 2013