Johnnie R. Davison, a lifelong Ventura County resident, died Saturday. He was 68.
Davison, a heavy-equipment operator, had just celebrated his 50th wedding anniversary with the woman he eloped with in high school.
Born in Ventura on Oct. 1, 1927, Davison spent his childhood in Oak View and graduated in 1946 from Nordhoff High School in Ojai.
There he met his wife, Joy. When she was 16 and he 18, they eloped to Las Vegas, where they were married Dec. 9, 1945.
They returned to Ventura to live apart, with their parents, until Davison graduated from high school.
Davison went to work as an oil field worker, a job he held for 16 years before becoming a heavy-equipment operator.
In the mid-1950s, he took various vocational classes at Ventura College.
In 1961, the family moved into the Ventura home Davison lived in for the rest of his life. Davison worked for 24 years as a heavy-equipment operator for several local businesses, retiring in 1990.
In his spare time, he rebuilt cars and attended auto shows.
He and his wife also enjoyed dancing. Davison was a member of the Motor Monarchs Car Club, the Ventura Boat and Ski Club, the Elks Lodge, the Ojai Valley Dance Club, the Buena High Band Boosters and the Loyal Order of Moose, Lodge 1417 in Oak View.
In addition to his wife, he is survived by his mother, Mable Soares of Ventura; a daughter, Donna, of Olympia, Wash.; four grandchildren, and one great granddaughter. He was preceded in death by two sons, Robert Lee and David; a sister, Wonda Davison Manning; and a brother, Robert Lee.
A celebration of Davison's life will be held with a gathering of family and friends at 1 p.m. Tuesday in his home. In lieu of flowers, contributions can be made to the American Cancer Society. Funeral arrangements are under the care of Joseph P. Reardon Funeral Home, Ventura.