Saturday, December 10, 2022

Obituary - Robert (Bob) Lee “Warpaint” Johnson

Robert (Bob) Lee “Warpaint” Johnson, 84, of Raymore, MO, passed away in his home on December 5, 2022.

Bob was born on June 14, 1938, in Kansas City, MO to Joel and Alice (Matthews) Johnson. 

He attended Southeast High School and after graduation joined the United States Navy where he served as a radioman specializing in communications technology for four years on a destroyer.

After his honorable discharge from the Navy, Bob returned to Kansas City to pursue a variety of interests. He was a rodeo cowboy and auctioneer, and through these activities, he came to the attention of businessman Charles Finley, owner of the American League baseball team, the Kansas City Athletics. Finley needed a trainer and handler for the Athletic’s new mascot, a live mule named “Charlie-O”. Bob was hired by Finley in this capacity and was responsible for escorting Charlie-O onto the Athletic’s outfield during home games, leading him in parades and events, and into other American League stadiums around the country.

Bob is best remembered, however, as the original rider of “Warpaint”, the Paint horse thatserved as the mascot of the Kansas City Chiefs National Football League team. For fifteen years (1963-1977), Bob rode Warpaint bareback and in a full headdress in the style of ceremonial American Indian regalia. Warpaint circled the field at the beginning of each game and after each touchdown. Throughout those years, Warpaint and Bob also made hundreds of appearances in parades, at events, and visiting classes of school children.

Professionally, Bob was a vice president at Townsend Communications for 48 years and served as a Jackson County legislator for the 10th district from 1975-78. Bob was also a member of the Masonic Lodge, was a Shriner, and a lifetime member of the VFW.

Bob leaves behind his beloved wife of 42 years, Wanda (Dick) Johnson; children, Darrel (Jennifer), DeAnna Byler, and Dana Johnson; son-in-law, Mark Liggatt; grandchildren, Keanon Liggatt, Callie (Seth) Cullen, Brady Johnson, Olivia Johnson-Brown, Lauren Johnson, Beau Brown, and Hilary Brown; and three great grandchildren, Matilda, Chloe and Claire. Other surviving family members are a brother, Norman (Janice) Johnson and sister Alice Jo (George) Solomon, and several nieces, nephews and cousins.

He was preceded in death by his parents; daughter Debbie Liggatt; brothers Bud, Jim, Kenny, Perry and Jerry; and sisters Jacqueline and Lois.

A private memorial service will be held at a later date.

Arrangements: Cullen Funeral Home, Raymore, Missouri 816.322.5278

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