Johnny Everett Haggard was born on March 26, 1949 to William Henry Haggard (Henry) and Elva Elizabeth Evans (Beth) in Phoenix, Arizona. Johnny passed away on February 13, 2020 in Phoenix, Arizona after suffering from an aneurysm at home on February 4, 2020. He was the youngest child of the family with an older brother, William Henry Haggard Jr (Billy) and sister Patsy Ruth Haggard. Johnny attended Laveen Elementary School and Tolleson High School, where he played baseball, basketball and football. Johnny was the quarterback in high school and graduated in 1967. He was very active in the Arizona FFA Association, serving as the State FFA President from 1966-67. Johnny was also a very active member in his church, serving his mission in California from 1968-1970. One of his favorite church callings was umpiring sports. For ten years, he traveled throughout Arizona serving as an umpire. You could always count on Cowboy Johnny to make a fair call either on the field, on the court, or in the game of life.
Johnny married his eternal sweetheart, Debrah Rae Erb, on March 20, 1971. They made their home in Buckeye, Arizona to be close to the family farm and dairy. Together, they raised five children John Henry, Clint, Chad, Katie, and Casey. Johnny became a leader in the Buckeye community serving on school boards, as a Little League coach, and numerous church callings. The Haggard home was always full of love and shared many home cooked meals with friends. Cowboy Johnny’s true sport passion was rodeo. You could always catch him on a horse, teaching a roping lesson, or watching a team roping show. Growing up, the only family vacations included horses and rodeo grounds. He was blessed in the arena and has shared many wonderful team roping memories with loved ones. He always had words of encouragement. Johnny was gentle and kind in the roping arena and the arena of life.
One of the most cherished titles Johnny held was that of Papa Haggard. He loved his grandkids dearly and traveled all over the state to support them in junior rodeos, in sports, and in dance recitals. Throughout his life, Johnny set an example of hard work, integrity, kindness, love, acceptance, service, patience, and forgiveness. His smile will be missed. He loved his family and left a legacy that will be cherished.
Johnny was preceded in death by his parents, Henry & Beth; his sister, Patsy; brother, Billy; and son, Casey.
He is survived by his loving wife, Debbie; son, John Henry (Karen); son, Clint; son, Chad (Celeste); daughter Katie (Paul); 9 grandchildren, Chase, Straton, Caylen, Cade, Mailey, Rigdon, Waylon, Demi, and Walker. He is also survived by his mother-in-law, Beverly Erb and the entire Haggard and Erb families.