David J. Johnson August 5th, 1938 - March 5th, 2019 David passed away March 5th, 2019. Born in Wisconsin Rapids, Wisconsin to Nels L. and Nellie Johnson. In 1943, when he was five, his parents, brother Doug and sisters Evelyn (Pep) and Jean moved to Oregon and lived in Wood Village. He attended Fairview Grade school and graduated from the Machinery class at Benson High School in 1956. His career started at The Hyster Company, he also joined the 142nd Consolidated Aircraft Maintenance Squad and was a reservist in the 304th Air Rescue Squadron in Portland Oregon. He then spent thirty years at Coastal Machinery as a machinist, sales representative, and General Manager. He designed the 1st Hydraulic Planer and holds patents for lumber mill machinery designs. He retired in 1993 and did consultation work for USNand R and local mills for five years. Dave met Geraldine on a blind date in 1959 on a water skiing outing planned by mutual friends from church and high school. They were married at St. Henery's Catholic Church, August 13th, 1960. They started their family in Fairview, where Denise and Nels were born and when Erik came along they moved to a bigger house on Multnomah Street in Portland. When they moved again, it was just down the street 6 houses as they had fallen in love with the neighborhood and all of the friends made there were like family, and to this day they all stay in contact. Dave was involved in many of the children's activities; Camp Fire Girls, Boy Scouts, and Little League baseball. Dave sponsored a Little League team that won a 2nd place trophy in the final tournament. He enjoyed waterskiing, camping, bowling, as a Life member of the Gresham Elks Club for 55 years, he helped with the decorations for many events and was the Hoops Contest Chairperson. In 1968, he purchased a Cessna 172 and earned his pilots license. He joined the EAA 902 Chapter Flying Club and Dave and Gerry had many wonderful fly-outs with the club camping and going to air shows. He also participated in the Young Eagles program where he took 125 missions taking kids up in the plane to see how it worked and they would earn a merit badge. He loved his cars, in his early 20's he drove a TR3 and also a TwinCam MG which was sold for a Volkswagen when the kids came along. Later he had a classic Mustang and then he bought an El Camino that he restored, enjoyed for many years and then sold it to his nephew's family to enjoy. Water skiing and snow skiing were some of his favorite activities. He would call Gerry up before he left work and have her load up a picnic basket and the kids and just a short time later be on the Columbia River at Sand Island. He loved jumping the wakes and doing tricks. He also taught all the kids to water ski at a very young age and they spent many summers skiing and enjoying time spent on the water. Gerry's sister Gayle was a teenager when they met and Dave loved to tease and joke with her and many times she would tag along on dates too. When Gerry was pregnant with Denise, Dave would take Gayle snow skiing, one afternoon a friend called Gerry and said Dave is on the mountain skiing with some blond. Her reply was , yes I know that is my sister.
A good Sunday afternoon started with his specialty French Toast and the usual game on TV, watching with his eyes closed and snoring really loud. If you tried to change the channel he would wake up and say, Hey I was watching that! The family enjoyed many summers camping and boating. Some of the highlights were trips to Lake Shasta with Grandma Nelli and cousins Linda and Carol in tow, a motor home trip to the Redwoods and Disneyland with neighbors, and a graduation trip to Hawaii. The Annual 4th of July Johnson family reunion at the Zumwalt Farm was always a wonderful time spent with cousins, aunts and uncles. Dave and Gerry enjoyed cruises to Hawaii and Mexico. They also spent a working vacation in Australia and New Zealand where Dave helped with the installation of some planers. For his 75th birthday, the family went on a Washington DC trip so he could visit the Air and Space Museum. Dave's hunting and fishing trips with friends and family were always epic adventures. In 2000, they retired to the Cabin on Pine Hollow Reservoir. Dave volunteered at the Fire Department and the American Legion Post 135. He would cook French Toast at the monthly breakfast fund raisers and was part of the rifle Salute Team. During Christmas he would help with the Christmas Gift Shop at the Oregon Veterans home. His routine involved driving up to the Wamic store, get a cup of coffee and newspaper, visit with whomever may be there, come home read the paper and then take a walk up to the mail box for the mail and along the way stop to visit with his buddies that would be in their shops and help with their projects. For twenty years they enjoyed fishing on the lake, fixing up the cabin, and enjoying time when friends and family would visit. In 2015, they returned to Gresham and moved to a retirement community. Dave would go downstairs for the party events and would take photos of everyone or after dinner he would sit by the window in their room and watch the sunsets, if it was a spectacular view he would take a photo. He took the camera everywhere they went. One of the benefits of being closer to family was that he was able to spend time with his granddaughters and took every opportunity to watch them dance at footballs games and competitions. He was very proud of their accomplishments. As many of you know, Dave's health declined from Parkinson's and Dementia and he bravely fought every step of the way. Our family learned many lessons these past few years. We learned how to compromise, negotiate, tell a white lie a time or two, and patience. Slow down and recognize the good days and treasure those memories and the bad days we rack up to lessons learned. We received a note from a neighbor this past week and it was a great reminder of what we should remember. " All your life Dave has been there, a strong figure in your life. He was always calm and understanding, intelligent and funny, Always a good person to be around and talk to." He was preceded in death by his parents, sister, Evelyn and brother- in-law Wilmer Zumwalt, brother- in-law, Babe Wing, and son Nels . He is survived by his beloved wife of 58 years Geraldine, daughter, Denise, son-in-law Mike Johnson, son, Erik, daughter-in-law Kristin, granddaughters Sydney and Kaitlyn. Brother, Doug, sister-in-law Marcia, sister, Jean Wing, sister-in-law, Gayle Grohs and sister-in-law Josephine Johnson. Great Uncle David also loved all 78 nieces and nephews. A celebration of life will be held at 1:00,Tuesday, March 19th at Bateman Carroll Funeral Home. In lieu of flowers donations may be made to the Oregon Veteran's Home Christmas Gift Shop c/o American Legion Auxiliary PO Box 1730 Wilsonville, OR 97070 Please sign the online guest book at www.batemancarrollfunerals.com
- Memorial Service Tuesday, March 19, 2019
March 17, 2019
My condolences to and prayers for the Johnson family. I am a classmate of Dave's from Benson Polytechnic High School, and was always happy to see him at our annual summer reunions. I have been impressed with the loving care he received from his family during his battle with his health. It is clear that God has blessed you all with many happy memories. 'We must always have old memories and young hopes.' - Arsene Houssaye. Lovingly...