James John Johnson (1933 - 2012)

Obituary
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Funeral services for James J. Johnson, 78, were conducted by Pastor Steven Frock on Saturday, April 7, 2012 at 10:30 a.m. at the Brayton Lutheran Church in Brayton. Interment was in the Oak Hill Cemetery west of Brayton. Casket bearers were Jerry Martin, Curtis Bradley, Mat Bradley, Erik Sonntag, Mike Thielen, and Daniel Jensen. The Kessler Funeral Home in Exira was in charge of the arrangements.
James John Johnson, the son of Lawrence Emery and Edna Katrina Hansen Johnson, was born June 20, 1933 at his parents' home in Oakfield Township, Audubon County, near Brayton, and died April 4, 2012 at his home in Brayton, at the age of 78 years, 9 months, and 14 day.
James was baptized and confirmed at the Oak Hill Lutheran Church west of Brayton. He attended rural school and then graduated from the Exira High School with the Class of 1950. James enlisted in the United States Army on May 26, 1953 in Omaha, Neb. He trained as an artilleryman at Fort Campbell, Ky., with assignments in Germany and Fort Sill as a crewman on eight-inch Howitzers. In 1958, he re-enlisted in air defense as a radar crewman with assignments in New York, Kansas City, Omaha, Fairbanks, and Fort Bliss. He served in Vietnam with HQ and A-Btry/4th Bn. 60th ADA as a duster crewman and squad leader. He was also a high power acquisition radar section leader in Olathe, Kan., and a radar instructor at Fort Bliss. In August of 1970 he served with C-Btry/5th Bn. 2nd ADA and B-Btry/1st Bn. 44th ADA in Vietnam as a section leader. The wars and battles he participated in included Vietnam, Counteroffensive, Phase II Vietnam Counteroffensive, Phase III-TET Counteroffensive, Vietnam Counteroffensive Phase IV, and Vietnam Summer 1970 Campaign. His medals include the Bronze Star, Army Commendation, Army Good Conduct, Army of Occupation, National Defense Service, Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal, Vietnam Service, RVN Campaign Medal, Army Meritorious Unit, Vietnam Gallantry Cross, Unit Citation and Vietnam Civil Action Unit Citation. His most memorable experience was serving as Duster Section Leader in Vietnam. He was honorably discharged on Sept. 1, 1976.
In 1962, he was united in marriage to Mary Louise Andersen in Excelsior Springs, Mo. Three children Virginia, Jacqueline, and Tommy were born to this union. Following his military service he returned to Brayton and was employed at American Building in Atlantic, until he retired. He then worked for a company that cleaned and maintained the I-80 rest areas for several years. James was very proud of his gun collection and spent many hours maintaining them. James was a member of the Brayton Lutheran Church in Brayton.
James was preceded in death by his first wife Mary Louise Johnson; his long time companion Frances M. Miller; his parents and his nephew Ryan Johnson.
Survivors include his children: Virginia Raysbrook of Bellevue, Wash.; Jacqueline Johnson of Oak Grove, Mo.; Tommy and wife Sherri Johnson of Independence, Mo.; his grandchildren: Kiesha Johnson, Jessica Johnson, and Rosemary Johnson all of Independence; his great-granddaughter Effie Goodson of Independence; his step daughters: Debra Noles and special friend Royce Turner of Exira; Terry Wright of Brayton; Delores and husband Steve Karwal of Elliot; numerous step-grandchildren and step-great- grandchildren; his brother Gail and wife Marie Johnson of Atlantic; nieces, nephews, other relatives and friends.

Published in AUDUBON COUNTY ADVOCATE JOURNAL from Apr. 13 to Apr. 20, 2012
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