Cover photo for Bryan "Butch" Hugh Johnson's Obituary
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Bryan "Butch" Hugh Johnson

August 16, 1940 — May 7, 2024

Covington, Louisiana

Bryan "Butch" Hugh Johnson

Bryan “Butch” Hugh Johnson passed away peacefully in the early morning of May 7, 2024, surrounded by family. 

Bookending his life in Hammond, LA, he was the second of four sons of Oswald and Mae Etta Johnson. He and his brothers spent time roaming the family’s rural land, contributing to his lifelong appreciation of wildlife and livestock, lending to his career as a scientist, professor and administrator. 

A lifelong learner, formal and worldly education featured prominently in his life. His academic journey began at Southeastern Louisiana University where he managed the livestock farm and participated in show training of the famous Santa Gertrudis beef herd of the Rockefeller’s Winrock Farms in Morrilton, Arkansas. Completing his bachelor’s in Animal Science in 1963, he then went on to earn his master’s degree in Reproductive Physiology at LSU’s Department of Animal Science. Bryan’s quest for knowledge led him to Oklahoma State University’s Animal Science department where he completed his doctoral degree in 1969. His landmark research on male reproductive physiology as a NIH Postdoctoral Fellow was published in the journal, Science in 1971.

Bryan launched his career in the Department of Animal Science at North Carolina State University. Most treasured by Bryan was the independent professional and personal accomplishments of his own graduate students from his days at NCSU. His philosophy of the mentor chain continues onward with those professionals.

In 1988, Bryan headed west to become head of the Animal Science Department at the University of Wyoming. From there, he moved to the University of Maryland as the director of the Maryland Agricultural Experiment Station, then on to the Department of Animal Science at Texas A&M University, where he provided leadership for one of the largest animal science programs in the country.  An enduring accomplishment of Bryan’s was spearheading the modern animal science teaching, research and extension center (ASTREC) to provide high impact experiential learning, support research, and promote extension education events. 

During his time in Wyoming, Bryan visited Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks.  He was overwhelmed with the beautiful scenery and incredible wildlife, and fulfilled his dream to retire somewhere nearby. His greatest joy was hosting family and friends to share his delight of the magnificent beauty of the parks, abundance of wildlife and spectacular sunsets. 

Bryan was preceded in death by his son Brett, his parents and a brother, Clarence. He is survived by his wife of nearly 62 years, Annette Jones Johnson, his daughter, Lesli Baffoni and her son Nicholas, his daughter-in-law, Jeannette and granddaughters Vivienne and Alexandra (Mark) and great-granddaughter Anna Maria. He also leaves two brothers Dickie and Douglas Johnson.  As Bryan liked to say

“Take a deep seat and a far away look.”

A memorial service will be held at a future time.  In honor of Bryan, donations can be made to the Richard Murphy Hospice House at 1109 S Chestnut St, Hammond, LA 70403 or www.richardmurphyhospice.com.                                                                                      


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