Tulsa Football Player's Life Celebrated

Monday, February 2nd 2009, 5:19 pm
By: News On 6

By Tara Vreeland, News On 6

TULSA, OK -- It's not a funeral, it's a celebration. A Tulsa family is celebrating the life of Renard Johnson Jr., a former football star from Union High School who was killed in a car accident.

Renard was appropriately nicknamed "Joc."

Thousands of fans cheered for the running back in 2005. He was an athlete with a promising career, pursuing his dreams at Missouri Southern State University.

"He's played football almost since kindergarten. He started out playing flag, 3rd grade he went to tackle," said Stephanie Johnson, Joc's sister.

Joc's family loved attending his games. Now they will attend his funeral. The 21-year-old was killed in a car accident on the Will Rogers Turnpike in Ottawa County last Monday.

"He was coming home from school and coming home from working out. He hit a patch of ice and ran into the back of a 16-wheeler," said Stephanie.

The accident killed Joc instantly.

"We want to know that we can put our brother to rest, we just really want to know that we can put him to rest because right now we are just short a little bit," said Stephanie.

The Johnson's find solace in their faith and in the support they have received from the community.

"We just want to thank everybody that has called and gave us their words of encouragement and their prayers," said Stephanie.

Encouragement to move forward and for a little one with his whole life ahead of him -- Joc has a newborn son who is just two months old.

"That was just his main focus right now was being the best father that he could be. And for the short time that he was, he was a great father. And that's what we are going to try to let our nephew know," said Stephanie.

Joc's funeral will be held at the Greenwood Christian Center at 10:00 Friday morning. The Missouri Southern football team will be there.

The Johnson's have set up a funeral fund:

Renard Johnson Jr's Funeral Fund
Any Bank of Oklahoma
Account Number: 807609483