John Johnson

John E. Johnson

1925 - 2010

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Obituary of John E. Johnson

John E. Johnson, 84, of 120 Aldren Ave. formerly of 3340 Matson Rd. Jamestown, NY passed away at 7:37 a.m. Thursday (September 9, 2010) in W.C.A Hospital. A lifelong area resident he was born November 2, 1925 in Jamestown, NY a son of the late Harry and Eva Norton Johnson. He was a graduate of Jamestown High School and during his high school years had played varsity football with the winning team of 1942 - 1943. He also enjoyed ice skating and in 1944 had participated in Silver Skate competition in Madison Square Garden in New York City. As a teenager, John worked with his parents in the operation of Johnson's Creamery pasteurizing and bottling milk products. He enlisted in the Merchant Marines serving on the freighter "Good Hope". The freighter was torpedoed by the enemy but before it sank John slid down a rope and jumped into the North Sea. After four days on a raft he was picked up by another American ship and hospitalized in Liverpool, England. In earlier years he had worked for the former Jamestown Sun Newspaper. He enjoyed taking the carrier boys' on camping trips which many still remember and talk about in their adult years. Prior to his retirement in 1986, he was employed as the Supervisor of Safety and Security for the SKF Aero-Engineering Company. John enjoyed being involved in his community, especially the Red Cross where he served as Chapter Chairman and in 1991 served as interim director while the chapter was searching for an Executive Director. He was instrumental in organizing the first Red Cross Yacht Race and scheduling drivers to collect blood in various towns in New York and Pennsylvania. He organized the "Adopt-A-Highway" for the Red Cross, served on the disaster team where he and a fellow co-worker went to Indiana and drove the first Emergency Response Vehicle back to Jamestown. He was a member and served as a Chairman of the Century Club and for several years he and his wife organized and prepared the Red Cross newsletter for distribution. He was actively involved in the blood program where he served on the Blood Committee and the New York-Pennsylvania Blood Region Advisory Board for many years. He was member of the International Management Council and a charter member of the Jamestown Area Chapter which was organized in 1963, becoming President in 1965. He served on the national level as a Zone Representative for ten chapters in Western New York. At various times he chaired the council's education, membership and annual meeting committees. He was elected Treasurer in 1972 and also served as Vice President and Executive Vice President. In 1976 he was elected National President. In 1983 he was invited by the Chinese government to visit their country along with other International Management Council members in various occupations from across the United States. He was a Past President of the Jamestown Area Safety Council at which time he instructed courses in Management Safety at Jamestown Community College. He was a past member of the Jamestown Area Personnel Association, the American Society of Safety Engineers, the National Safety Management Society, the MRC-TRW Foreman's Club and the Albany, NY American Legion. John was an active member of the Benevolent Protective Order of the Elks Lodge # 263 Jamestown where he served as Exalted Ruler and was a State Vice President and a National District Deputy. He was also a member of the Bethel Lutheran Church where he enjoyed being a lector and will be remembered for his always ready answer of "no problem" when asked to do something and for his collection of Thomas Kincaid flags that he would show off for everyone to enjoy. Following his retirement he and his wife enjoyed many years of traveling, visiting the 48 continental United States, Nova Scotia, cruising to many Caribbean Islands, Alaska, Hawaii, Panama Canal, Scandinavia and Russia as well as paddle wheeling on the Mississippi River and cruising on a barge on the Ohio River. He took many pictures and wrote a travelogue for each trip. Surviving are his wife Betty J. Olson Johnson, a son Daniel (Diana) Johnson of Mechanicsville, VA, a daughter Beth Johnson of Jamestown, two step-daughters Michele (John) Olson Edmonds of Littleton, CO, Melanie (Bruce) Olson Slocum of Grapevine, TX, two grandchildren Julie (Sean) Cullifer of Williamsburg, VA, Jeff Johnson of Cambridge, MA, two great grandchildren Christopher and Ryan Cullifer, two step-grandchildren Jessica and Robert Edmonds both of CO, and a sister Ruth Bartlett of Clyde, OH. He is also survived by several nieces and nephews. Besides his parents he was preceded in death by his first wife Louise Baker Johnson who died in 1984, a son Stevan Johnson who died in 1978 an infant daughter and a sister Alice Papke who died in 2010. The funeral will be held at 11:00 am Monday in the Lind Funeral Home. The Rev. Daniel S. Rumfelt, chaplain of Lutheran Retirement Home and Rehabilitation Center will officiate. Burial will be in the Lake View Cemetery. Friends will be received from 2-4 & 7-9p.m Sunday in the funeral home. Memorials may be made to the Bethel Lutheran Church, 904 W. Third St. Jamestown, NY 14701 or to the American Red Cross, Chautauqua County Chapter, 325 E. Fourth St. Jamestown, NY 14701.