Johnney Isaac Prestwood (’67)

Johnney Prestwood Obituary
Published by Legacy Remembers on Mar. 11, 2024.
Proudest alum and supporter of the University of Houston Cougars, Mr. Johnney Isaac Prestwood, or “BooBoo” as his grandchildren called him, passed away peacefully with his family after a year of health issues on February 26, 2024.

Johnney was born on April 4, 1941, to Wilma Lee Beard Prestwood and Horace Lee Prestwood in Splendora, Texas. As a child, he loved helping around the house, tending to the animals (especially his cow named Shasta), making railroad ties with his father, and cooking hot water cornbread with his mother. His favorite toy was an old tire that he would roll around pretending It was his very own Ford car. He completed his high school career at Splendora High School as Valedictorian of his class and FFA President.

The importance of education was instilled in him by his mother at a very young age. After high school, he moved to Houston to pursue his college education. While in Houston, he developed a love for the oil business while working in the oil fields. While working during the day, he eventually was able to attend the University of Houston, his beloved alma mater, at night. He taught Calculus there while getting his degree and working-graduating in 1967 with a Bachelors in Mathematics.

Johnney never forgot where he came from and always supported his Splendora educational roots. In 1962 he travelled to Brenham to watch his old high school basketball team play in a tournament. It was there where a beautiful women told him hello and he noticed her kindness as he was a very very shy young man. Later that evening he ventured over to the concession stand where that same woman was working. He tried to order a hot dog but she would not sell it to him because the chili was not ready. He tried to persuade her to sell him the hot dog but she would not budge because she was only to sell the hot dog with the chili. He was instantly drawn to her work ethic, her smile, and her friendly disposition. That woman, Mary Ann Arndt, would later become his wife of just shy of 60 years. Johnney and Mary Ann started their family in 1976 with the birth of their daughter Leah and completed their family with the addition of their son, Kane in 1978.

During his early years in Houston, his fond love of the oil business led him over to Standard Oil Company of California (it was later named Chevron) where he landed a job in the mailroom. It was here that he impressed people with his intellect and knowledge of mathematics and geophysics. While at Chevron he, with his family alongside him, was given the opportunity to work an assignment in Saudi Arabia and did so for 8 years. While there they were able to travel the world, something that he dreamt of as a boy. After his stint in Saudi, his next career stop with Chevron was in Calgary, Alberta, Canada for 4 years. He ended his career back in Houston with Chevron where he retired in 2000.

Johnney’s three main passions in life were family, the University of Houston, and classic cars. The time he spent with his family was very important to him. He spent countless holidays and time with his immediate family and many sisters and brothers-in-law. His favorite holidays were Thanksgiving and 4th of July. Thanksgiving was full of family and close friends, laughing over great food and even better company-he was an extremely grateful man and cherished the time. 4th of July took him and his closest family to Round Top for their annual parade. When his three granddaughters were born he found so much joy in sharing that experience with them. His retired years were spent spending time with them. He loved taking them to UH sporting events, being a fan at their sporting events/lessons, driving them in his classic cars, and working around the house showing them how to write checks and take care of finances! “No” wasn’t in his vocabulary with them and he loved them with every ounce of himself.

Johnney’s second major passion was the University of Houston. The ability to go to school in the evening gave him many opportunities and he felt indebted to the university. His love for his alma mater was evident in his support of UH athletes and athletics. He had basketball and football season tickets continuously beginning in 1964 and watched the teams with passion and an immense amount of pride. He didn’t miss UH events. He also was the cofounder of All-In-One Little Coogs-an organization that has brought over 200,000 at-risk youth to the games to experience “college life”. The day he left this earth, UH men’s basketball was ranked #1 in the country-he was thrilled he got to see that happen!

Classic cars were always something that Johnney loved. He had a small collection of his favorite cars, jukeboxes and neon signs. He loved the “good ole days”! He made numerous friends in all facets of the car business and enjoyed sharing his passion with others.

If you knew Johnney, you knew he was a giver and a fixer. He had a heart of gold and would go out of his way to lend someone a hand. Always being open to solve problems with logic and discernment, but full of love and care, brought many people to him for advice. His mother and father taught him the importance of caring for people and he did so until his last day.

Johnney is survived by his wife Mary Ann Edith Arndt Prestwood of Sugar Land; daughter Leah Stevens (Andrew), son Kane Prestwood (Irina Slitsan); granddaughters Lauren and Emily Stevens and Katie Prestwood; Sisters in law Maxine Arndt and Jeanne Prestwood; Over 40 nieces and nephews from both sides; over 35 great-great nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his parents, 4 brothers, 2 sisters, 7 brothers in law,7 sisters in law, 1 niece, his best childhood friend Corn Cob and numerous friends from across the globe.

A memorial to celebrate Johnney will take place at Morton Cemetery on March 23rd at 10am. He requested that everyone wear red and white or a Cougar shirt for his service. In lieu of flowers memorials may be directed to Cougar athletics by emailing jnoud@uh.edu or to All-in-One: Little Coogs (https://bachamp.org/donate/).

Johnney wanted everyone to remember: “Organization is the key”; “Always stick to the task at hand”; “Life is short. Live it the right way; “Don’t take any wooden nickels” and of course, “GO COOGS”!

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