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Craig Johnson

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Craig Johnson Obituary
Craig Rory Johnson

June 19, 1944 - February 3, 2013

SALEM - Our dearest husband and father, died on Sunday, February 3 after a five and a half year battle with cancer. When first diagnosed in 2007 he was only given a years time, but he kept fighting, always joking that he had "outlived his shelf life."

Craig was born in Kearney, Nebraska June 19th, 1944 to Dr. Robert 0. Johnson and Jean Reid Taylor. He was the eldest of 10 siblings.

After his father finished his residency at the Veteran's Hospital in Roseburg, the family moved to Eugene, Oregon. Craig graduated from South Eugene High School. After High School he enlisted in the Air Force, just six months before the war in Vietnam. Serving as a Staff Sergeant, he was stationed at Woodbridge U.S. Air Force Base in Suffolk, England where he met his wife Gillian Elizabeth Dickson. They were married at St. Mary the Virgin Church in Bramford, England on April 28, 1968. Craig was given an honorable discharge from the service and the happy couple relocated to America in June of 1968.

Their married life started in Westmoreland Student Housing while Craig attended the University of Oregon on the G.I. Bill. Their two daughters Catherine and Sarah were born in Eugene, during this time. In 1980 they welcomed their son Robert into the family.

Craig worked in corrections for over 30 years. He started working in the Dome building in Salem, Oregon and then was transferred to Oregon State Correctional Institution where he remained as a Correctional Councilor. Craig was part of the 0.S.C.I. Tactical Response Team for many years.

St. Paul's Episcopal Church became the family's home church shortly after they moved to Salem. Craig joined the Trinity Choir where he remained a choir member, for over 35 years, until very recently. Craig and Gillian enjoyed travelling with the choir to Europe in 2000 and some years later to San Francisco. Craig was elected to serve on the Vestry where he served two terms. During his second term he was made Junior Warden.

Other involvements include being on the O.S.C.I. Hood-to-Coast team called "The Leg Irons" for many enjoyable years. One of his achievements was running the Portland Marathon at 48, the same age his father passed away. He was also a shop steward for the SEIU Union and passionate about workers rights. One of his most rewarding involvements was the St. Paul's Monday Morning Bible Study Group where he studied with a group of men he found both challenging and stimulating. Craig was a devoted husband and father. He was able to attend the birth of three of his grandchildren and loved music, travel and spending time with his family. He was the pillar of his family and his legacy of integrity and honesty will live on in the lives of his descents.

He was preceded in death by his parents; Dr. Robert 0. Johnson and Jean Reid Johnson-McCracken and his sister Cary Johnson-Henderson. He is survived by his beloved wife of 45 years; daughter Catherine and husband Kevin McDermott; daughter Sarah and husband Dean Wright; son Robert and wife Katie Johnson. Seven grandchildren; Hannah, Shay, Norah, Vivian Wright; Eleanor and Ray McDermott; and Cole Johnson. Also surviving are sisters; Cindy, Kelly, Claudia, Candy, Cecily and Collette and two brothers;Curt and Chris as well as many nieces and nephews.

A memorial service will be held Saturday, February 9, 2013 at 2:00 p.m. located at St. Paul's Episcopal Church, 1444 Liberty Street, S.E. Salem,Oregon.

In lieu of flowers the family asks that contributions be made to St. Paul's Music Guild, St Paul's Church Memorial Fund or the OHSU Knight Cancer Institute.

Arrangements are by Virgil T. Golden Funeral Service.

Published in StatesmanJournal on Feb. 7, 2013
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