Weekly Opinion Editorial
Stefiel Understood Duty!
by Steve Fair
On Friday retired Air Force Chief Sergeant
Stefiel Johnson was laid to rest at the Fort Sill National cemetery. He was one week short of 92 years. Stefiel spent 30 plus years in active military
service. He served in both the Army and
the Air Force. In the Air Force, he was
in charge of tons of munitions(explosives). After retiring, Stefiel and his wife
Laura settled back home in Duncan and they became active in the Stephens County
Republican Party. That is where I first
met them. Here are my comments about Stefiel.
First, Stefiel was a patriot. He loved America. He had dedicated his life to serving and to
duty and that went beyond his military service.
In 1994, he agreed to serve when I asked him to serve as the Republican
representative on the Stephens County election board. Our appointed ‘Republican’ representative on
the board wouldn’t return phone calls and ignored the local Party. After discussion, the local Party leadership
sought someone who would be our eyes and ears in the election process and was
one of us. Stefiel was that person. He was faithful, willing to serve and did the
job without fanfare.
Second, Stefiel was a campaigner. Once a Republican nominee was determined,
Stefiel was all in for the candidate. He
was the ‘Sign King.’ He put up more campaign signs than anyone I have ever
seen. He loved it. Stefiel worked on winning and losing campaigns
and prior to 2004, most Republicans running were not successful. Winning or losing didn’t seem to matter to
Stefiel. He simply put up more
signs. He worked on local campaigns, as
well as legislative and statewide campaigns.
More than once, campaigns had to order more signs because Steifiel had ‘ran
them out.’ In his signature overalls,
Stefiel put thousands of miles on his truck traveling Stephens county sticking
signs in the ground. When his health
prevented him from putting out signs, he and Laura would man the local county
GOP HQ. He stayed engaged.
Stefiel never sought or held a leadership
position in the SCGOP, but he was critical to the growth of Republican Party
affiliation in Stephens county. He and Laura were among the first awarded the
Dr. Gerald Beasley Jr. Memorial Award.
The Beasley award is awarded annually to a top volunteer in the Stephens
County GOP. They were well deserving.
Third, Stefiel was consistent. That was probably because of his long time dedication
to duty. Stefiel faithfully worked
elections for over twenty five years. Stefiel
faithfully attended SCGOP monthly meetings.
He attended dozens of OKGOP[S1]
state conventions. He sat through hours
of self-promoting, boring political speeches.
Stefiel saw beyond the rhetoric and stayed focused on the real goal;
Stefiel Johnson didn’t seek glory or
recognition during his time on earth. He
did his duty and worked behind the scenes.
That type of unseen work is what makes an organization/community successful. Stefiel provided an example for Americans
everywhere- get involved and stay involved in your government.