Johnson, Andrew

Andrew Johnson, 2007 Inductee

Mr. Johnson lived his entire life at Fort McDowell. He worked for the City of Phoenix as a heavy equipment operator for 35 years. He was an elder who educated tribal members on the issues facing the community. He served on the tribal council and was heavily involved in the Orme Dam situation. He initiated a poll of the tribal members on whether they were in favor of Orme Dam. The vote was 140 opposed, one in favor and eight no opinions. With that information, Mr. Johnson and four other tribal members went to Washington, D.C. in October 1975. He told U.S. Representatives in Washington, D.C., “The Fort McDowell Community is like the eagle: if there is no land, all the culture, the traditions passed down from generation to generation are lost. This is a loss that can be felt by all.” One of his favorite expressions was, “Put a dollar in one hand and put dirt in the other hand . . . the soil will last longer than the dollar.” Mr. Johnson was also an outstanding baseball player and was selected to play for the New York Yankees. He decided to remain with his family at Fort McDowell where he coached baseball and softball teams for many years. Survived by daughter Kathy Paya and grandson Jamie Paya, his family was important to him.