Memorial services were held Friday at the First Presbyterian Church in Bishop for Harold “Hal” W. Johnson.
Born Dec. 16, 1919 in Mt. Vernon, Mo. to Fred and Helen Johnson, the second of ten children, Harold died Wednesday, April 27, 2010 in Bishop. He was 91.
Harold left the family farm at age 16 to find his place in this world. Harold was a veteran of World War II, serving overseas in the elite “Marine Raiders” unit of the United States Marine Corps. He was awarded a Purple Heart. After the war, he returned to Southern California where he courted and wed the love of his life Betty Stallings of Santa Paula on July 7, 1947 in Inglewood. They settled in South Gate, raising their daughter, Sherry and son, Larry.
Harold worked for Southern California Edison as a line crew foreman and retired in 1982 after 36 years of service. In 1983 he fulfilled his dream of moving to Bishop, where he would take full advantage of his favorite High Sierra activities; skiing, hiking and fishing. Harold loved woodworking, making many pieces of beautiful furniture that adorn his and Betty”s home and becoming treasured family heirlooms. Harold had a wonderful gift, he could do or fix just about anything, making him a neighborhood favorite, as he was always glad to lend a hand with any project.
Although he left the farm at a young age the farmer attributes never left him. He carved a beautiful backyard, with raised beds for flowers, a sunny section for the tomatoes, rhubarb and vegetables that he and Betty so much enjoyed. He planted many fruit and ornamental trees, all thriving out of the less than perfect Bishop soil. Year round their yard is a visual delight and a haven for friends, feathered friends and family to relax and visit.
One of Hal’s biggest life challenges was the gradual loss of hearing that came about after contracting malaria and the after effects of the drugs administered to him during his service in WW II. He tried very hard not to let this slow him down.
Harold and Betty became members of the First Presbyterian Church of Bishop. This has blessed their lives with so many special people, who along with friends and very special neighbors have supported Hal’s beloved Betty through the end of his last days.
He is survived by his wife of 64 years, Betty; daughter and son-in-law, Sherry and Gary Anderson of Perris, Calif.; his son and daughter-in-law, Larry and Melodee Johnson of Owasso, Okla.; two granddaughters, Carrie Llado and Jodi Johnson-Kile; seven great-grandchildren, Melanie, Madeline and Zachery Kile, Hannah, Savannah and Bella Llado and Ava; sisters, Cordelia Wiehe of Owasso and Louise Peters of Springfield, Mo.; and brothers, Marshall Johnson of San Miguel, and Jerry Johnson of Springfield, Mo.