After a long-fought battle with Parkinson’s, Gene Johnson passed away peacefully, with his wife, Lynn, by his side on March 16, 2020, at the age of 88.
He was born in Hildreth, NE, the oldest of seven children of Lloyd and Goldie (Danielson) Johnson. He joined the Navy in 1951, serving for four years active duty aboard the aircraft carrier USS Essex (CV-9).
He married Wanda Bjorklund in 1953, (divorced 1986). They had two children Pamela and David.
The family moved to Southern California, where Gene held a position of accounting manager at Voit Rubber. In 1981, he and his brothers, Bob and AJ formed Laguna Land Partners Inc., successfully growing their radiator business to several shops throughout the Southern California area.
In 1996, Gene married his soulmate and best friend Lynn Lillard. After traveling full time in their RV for almost five years, they settled in Wenatchee, WA, in 2000.
Gene was a “cowboy” at heart with a quiet inner strength and a warm heart. He loved being outdoors, anything country, horses, western novels, a cup of fresh hot coffee, a good steak at the end of the day. He was very proud of the Johnson’s 100 years (and counting) family history of firefighters (grandson, Troy, currently 11 years a firefighter/paramedic).
Gene is survived by his wife Lynn, of 24 years, daughter, Pamela Kuhn-Johnson; son, David (Vicki); grandson, Troy (Kristy); great-grandson, Tanner; brothers: Stanley and Arvin; sisters Evelyn Anderson and Lois (Dale) Schmidt; and many nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his parents; and brothers: Robert and Howard.
Grandpa Gene will always be lovingly remembered by his “second family”: Robert (Meredith) Wright, Patricia Wright, Pamela Wright, Harvey Lillard, Andrea (Jordan) Lillard-Brown, Nathan (Valerie) Wright, Benjamion Lasater, Emily Lasater, Grace Lasater, Charles “Chas” (Amy) Malich, Samual Malich, Caitlin Malich, Anna Wright, Madeline Wright, Abigail Wright, Zander Brown, Elias Brown and Cruz Lopez.
He was a kind, thoughtful, and loving husband, father, grandfather, and great-grandfather. He gave and received an abundance of love and will live in our hearts forever.
A Celebration of Life will be scheduled for a later date. A very special thanks to the staff at Regency Nursing facility for the wonderful care and love they gave to Gene these past two and a half years. Arrangements by Jones & Jones-Betts Funeral Home, Wenatchee, WA.