Obituaries: Arne Joel Johnson

Obituaries: Arne Joel Johnson

OCEAN PARK - Arne J. Johnson, 94, died July 19, 2006, after suffering a stroke. He was born April 5, 1912, in Blixtorp, Arstad, Sweden, the oldest of seven children of John and Sigrid (Mortenson) Johansson.

He attended elementary school in Sweden and throughout his childhood helped out on the family farm. He joined the Swedish military and served in the cavalry. He obtained his education in accounting while in the military. During WWII he participated in the resistance movement in the Philippines and established the Salvation Army office there. On June 11, 1941, he married Florence Lindvall and they made their first home in Manila, the Philippines.

In a story published in the Chinook Observer in August 2004, Mr. Johnson said they lived under Japanese occupation for more than three years. In 1946, when he was 35-years-old, the Johnsons set sail to San Francisco. Mr. Johnson said he weighed 95 pounds and was penniless, but when he saw the riches of Market Street in San Francisco, he told his wife to give him 20 years in this country and he would be able to retire. They came north to visit an aunt who lived on Willapa Bay and initially settled in Ocean Park. They then relocated to Seattle and then went to Alaska, where he held several accounting positions for different fishing companies before he was appointed president of Aleutian Cold Storage, a position he held until retirement. True to his word, 20 years after arriving in the United States, he retired. The couple returned to Ocean Park in 1968 where Mr. Johnson built their home.

He was a member of the Masonic Lodge and a charter member of the Family Motor Coach Association. His hobbies and interests included gardening, running, golfing, stamp collecting and carpentry. He attained several outstanding running achievements as a senior and still holds two national senior records. Several years ago he had a bicycle accident from which he never fully recovered due to hip complications.

Preceded in death by his wife Florence, brother Alt Johnson, and sister Maya Stina, he is survived by sister Svea Nilsson of Asige, Sweden and brothers David, Mats and Gote Johnson all of Fatkenberg, Sweden.

Private cremation has been held. Memorial donations may be made to the Salvation Army in care of Penttila's Chapel by The Sea, P.O. Box 417, Long Beach, WA 98631.

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