Edward C. Johnson, 93
Edward Charles "Ed" Johnson, 93, passed away at his home in Barron on Easter Sunday, April 16, 2017.
Edward, the eldest son of Edward D. and Cora M. Johnson, was born on March 23, 1924 in Superior, Wis. During the Great Depression the family moved out of the city to farm land in South Range. His thriftiness, work ethic and mechanical skills were shaped by his early experiences working along-side his father and brothers on the farm.
Edward graduated from Superior Central High School. In December, 1942 he enlisted in the U.S. Army Air Force. He proudly served in World War II as a Flight Engineer on a B-24 with the 489th Bomb Group of the Second Air Division, flying 22 missions from Halesworth, England to destinations over Germany. He achieved a rank of Tech. Sargent. Upon the crew's return to the U.S. he eagerly pursued flight training in Texas, however when the war came to an end, he was discharged before he could advance to become a pilot. His love of flying was later fulfilled through the many hours logged flying with friends at the Barron Airport. His bomber crew friendships remained with him for a life-time. Several years ago he participated in an Honor Flight to Washington, DC, and was able to share and document his stories of military service.
Upon discharge from service Ed returned to the Superior area where he met and then married Eleanor M. Busse on May 13, 1950. Together they celebrated 60 years of marriage prior to Eleanor's death in March of 2011. They initially resided in New Richmond, Wis., where their daughter, Mary Jo, was born. In 1954, the family moved to Barron and built a home where Ed continued to reside until his death.
Ed was a man with innate math, science and mechanical skills which he applied working as an independent contractor. Over the years, his work ranged from sand blasting and painting to the design and construction of wood boiler heating systems. Ed was known for helping friends in the community with many "hands-on" projects and construction advice. Ed was very civic minded, actively supporting the Barron community and serving as Project Manager in development and construction of the Barron Municipal Center. He was a staunch supporter of public education, serving as a member of the Barron School Board as well as on the CESA Board of Control. As a School Board member he supervised the installation and fine-tuning of a highly cost-effective bark-burning furnace which heats the high school and elementary school as well as the hospital/nursing home complex.
Ed is survived by his daughter, Mary Jo (Kenneth) Tuckwell of Ashland, Wis.; brothers, Don and Dale (Lucy) Johnson, of Superior, Wis.; a sister, Gloria Seyler, of Bourbonnais, Ill.; sisters-in-law, Ruth Johnson of Duluth, Minn., and Marge Johnson, of Foxboro, Wis.; as well as several cousins, and many nieces and nephews.
Edward was preceded in death by his wife Eleanor; his parents; his brothers, Robert and Richard; sister-in-law, Shirley Johnson and brother-in-law, Jay Seyler.
A celebration of Eds life, with military honors will be held at 11 a.m. on Friday, April 21, 2017 at First Lutheran Church, 4 West LaSalle Avenue, Barron, WI. Visitation at the church will begin at 10 a.m. until the time of service. A private interment will be held at a later date at the New Richmond Cemetery.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations in Eds name to charities of the donor's choice.
Arrangements are being handled by Rausch and Steel Funeral Home in Barron, WI. Online condolences can be made at www.rauschandsteelfuneralhome.com.