Johnny L. Free
December 13, 1950 - April 20, 2022
Johnny L. Free passed away on April 20, 2022 at the age of 71at Midland Hospice House in Topeka, KS. He was born on December 13th, 1950 in San Bernardino California to Charlie Lee Free and Madrue Edith Malone at the San Bernardino County Hospital. Johnny Free went to San Bernardino High School, where he was in the San Bernardino Honor and Acapella Honor Choir as well as served on the Junior Varsity and Varsity sports teams for Wrestling. He also received high honors for Judo with the YMCA youth center in San Bernardino California during the 1968 open Judo Championship placing first in his class.
Johnny then went on after graduation to the employment of the Santa Fe Railroad in July of 1969 until he was drafted in 1970 by the U.S. Army. Johnny then served in the Army as a Combat Engineer attaining the rank of E-5 (Sergeant) while stationed in Germany. Johnny served on multiple fronts including the 1972 Olympic Hostage Crisis in Munich as well as the mining of Haiphong Harbor also known as Operation Pocket Money until his honorable discharge in 1974.
Johnny married Theresa Ann Hodges on April 1 1972. Following his marriage and discharge from the military, Johnny went on to return to the Santa Fe Railroad as a machinist in the San Bernardino Shops. Johnny served as a scout leader with the Boy Scouts of America, founded troop 110 of Rialto California, and while under this service produced 7 Eagle Scouts including his own son. During his tenor, Johnny received many awards and nation recognition toward his devotion to scouting including the High Vigil Honor Award from the Order of The Arrow with Cahuilla Lodge #127 in 1992.
Johnny was transferred with his job from California in 1992 to Topeka Kansas and remained with the BNSF railroad until his retirement in January of 2011 after serving 41 years. He is survived by his wife, Theresa Free, His daughter Jennifer Tipton, His son John Free and by six grand children.