Skip to content

Obituary – Johnnie W. Cavaness

Johnnie Wayne Cavaness departed this world to be with his Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, on December 22, 2020, at the Texas County Memorial Hospital, Houston, Mo. He had been a resident of Hickory Manor in Licking, Mo.

Johnnie was born on July 28, 1933, to parents, Johnnie Thomas Cavaness and Charlcy Belle (Helton) Cavaness at their home west of Licking.

Johnnie grew up on his parent’s farm, known as the Pike farm, east of Mason Bridge and Big Piney River near Highway 32. He was the youngest of five boys. His father died from an accident in 1934 leaving Johnnie, at the age 10 months, to be raised by his mother and older brothers.

Johnnie and Emma “Ruth” Whitby were united in marriage December 24, 1954. They were blessed with three children: Richard Dean, Jackie Darlene and Tammy Irene Cavaness. He had two stepchildren, Lynn Reynolds and Julie Warden.

Johnnie is preceded in death by his parents, Johnnie Thomas and Charlcy (Helton) Cavaness; brothers, Alfred F., Roy M., Luther Ray and Willie E.; and infant sister Bessie Mae Cavaness. His wife, Emma “Ruth” (Whitby) Cavaness died in 2009, and daughter Tammy Irene Cavaness died in 2007.

Johnnie will be deeply missed by his surviving children and their spouses, 10 grandchildren, 16 great grandchildren, sister-in-law, and many nieces and nephews.

Johnnie was baptized in 1974 at the First Baptist Church in St. James. He later attended the Assembly of God Church at Licking as long as his health permitted.

Johnnie retired in 2000 from USGS as a food service worker in Rolla. Other jobs he enjoyed were salesman at a used car dealership in St. Louis with his brother, Willie Cavaness. He also worked for the police department in St. James.

Johnnie enjoyed visiting with family and friends, traveling, listening to country music, and watching cop shows on TV. At an advanced age he learned to use the computer and loved to communicate with family through the Internet. He had much family history to share by writing and typing stories of his life as he was growing up. He loved Licking where he knew almost everybody, went to high school, and met his wife.

Johnnie had strong and humble faith, believing in the power and strength of Jesus Christ’s love, and the beauty and peace that would await his passing. He was always smiling and never met a stranger. He will truly be missed by all who knew and loved him.

Family requests masks be worn to the funeral service.

Family and friends will celebrate Johnnie’s life on Saturday, Jan 2, 2021. Visitation from 1 p.m. until time of funeral service at 2 p.m. with Pastor Paul Richardson officiating at Fox Chapel, Licking. Interment will follow at Cavaness Cemetery, west of Licking. Pallbearers are Terry Nelson, Ronnie Dixon, Gary Cavaness, Garold Cavaness, Dave Tullis and James Rodgers. Arrangements entrusted to Fox Funeral Home. Online condolences may be left at


Leave a Comment