Lester “Pe-Te” Johnson passed away on February 8, 2020. Les was born on December 18, 1934 in Eunice, Louisiana to parents, Edward and Lena Johnson. He married Jennie Johnson on January 31, 1964 and they were married for 49 years when she passed away on March 30, 2013. He was the owner of Pe-Te’s Cajun BBQ House across from Ellington Field for 28 years, as well as producer/host of Pe Te’s Cajun Bandstand at KPFT, 90.1 from 1983 until his last show on February 1, 2020. Les loved his Cajun heritage and came from a large family. His grandfather, August “Johnson” Jeansonne, born on April 5, 1810, died on the eve of his 113th birthday in 1923, was married 4 times, had 21 children, 58 grandchildren, and 157 great grandchildren.
Les served the U.S. Air Force from 1952 to 1956, 3 and a half of those years were spent overseas in Chateauroux, France, and RAF Base in North Whales. He was employed with Philco Ford, in Houston as well as in Burlingame, California as an operations manager; and with Brown & Root Inspection in quality control at Petrochem Plant.
He loved to play golf, got a total of 3 hole-in-ones and was a diehard NASCAR fan!! He as a big supporter of NASA. He had the privilege of meeting every astronaut from 1979 to 2004. At NASA, he was famous for his BBQ and beans & rice. Les was a judge for the NASA cook-off for 25 years and also attended 13 space shuttle launches.
Astronauts, Robert “Bob” Crippen and William “Bill” McArthur, came back with Les to his hometown in Eunice for the ribbon cutting for the 4th of July parade. Bill McArthur called into Les’ radio show from the space station. Now that’s a long distant call. Yea!! In addition, 6 months of recordings were transferred to the space station.
Among many recognitions, Les received a Proclamation from the City of Houston designating March 4th Les “Pe-Te” Johnson Day; he was recognized by the Louisiana House of Representatives in 2016 and received the Pioneer Award “Prix De Pionnier” in 2017 from the Cajun French Music Association.
Les was preceded in death by his wife, Jennie Johnson; parents, Edward and Lena Johnson; brothers, Adam and Hosea Johnson; sisters, Estelle Fontenot and Pearl Chatman; and stepchildren, Margret and David Malone. He is survived by his children: Johnny Johnson and wife Michelle, Lisa Gothreaux and husband Rene; four grandchildren: Aaron and Dana Johnson, Lindsey Rosenbalm, and Lacy Gothreaux; 6 step grandchildren: Zadra, Billy, Amy, Jenny, Tim, and Kevin; great grandchildren: Joel, Elaina Grace and Oliver Liebert, and Thera Rosenbalm; and 8 step great grandchildren. In addition, Les leaves behind a dearly beloved friend and caregiver, Rebecca Queener.
A Memorial Service will be held on February 22, 2020 at 2:00 p.m. at Oak Park Funeral Home with a reception to follow at Billy’s Hall located at 4070 Wells Dr. Pearland, Texas 77584 at 4:00 p.m. For more information call 281-435-9274. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to KPFT on behalf of Pe-Te’s Cajun Bandstand, 713-526-4000.
90.1 KPFT on Behalf of Pe-Te's Cajun Bandstand