C. William (Bill) Johnson, 89, formerly of Bow, died Friday, Jan. 31, 2014, surrounded by his loving daughters.
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He was born the son of the late Amelia and William Johnson, Jan. 22, 1925, in Pontiac, Mich., where he lived until he graduated high school. He then moved to Indiana to attend Valparaiso University, where he received a Bachelor of Arts in 1946.
Following college, Bill enlisted in the U.S. Army, where he served his country during World War II and was discharged in 1946. Bill then enrolled in George Washington Law School but before completion was accepted into the FBI, and he fulfilled his dream to become a special agent in 1949. He was stationed in D.C. and then moved to NYC where he met his wife, Barbara, while spending weekends in the Hamptons. They were married Nov. 11, 1960.
During his career in the FBI, Bill worked in the espionage unit. It was not uncommon for him to dash off in the middle of the night to JFK Airport to prevent a Soviet spy from leaving with classified information that could be used against our country. Bill served as a special agent for 26 years, retiring in 1975.
Following his retirement, Bill and his family moved to Bow, where he would spend the next 30 years doing his favorite things – playing golf at the Concord Country Club, fishing for striped bass across the lakes of New Hampshire and Maine, and skiing across New England and Canada. He even raced in NASCAR following his 70th birthday.
Bill still continued his life of service during retirement, becoming a New Hampshire state legislator. He was also active in the Bow Men's Club and the Bow Rotary, serving as president for several years.
Following the passing of his wife in 2009, Bill moved to Massachusetts to be closer to his children and grandchildren. He brought great joy to the residents and staff of the assisted living facility where he settled. His dancing skills, big smile, FBI stories, jokes and laughter were legendary. Sadly, Bill faced his greatest challenge at the end of his life as he courageously battled Alzheimer's disease. Still, he kept smiling and shared his wonderful outlook on life, and he was able to create beautiful memories for his children and grandchildren.
Bill is survived by his two children, Karen Johnson Macumber of Sherborn, Mass., and Kristine Johnson Papantonis of Medfield, Mass.; his five grandchildren, Nicholas, Christopher, Alexandra, Samantha and Athena; and many friends.
The world has lost the kindest man it has ever known. He will be greatly missed.
A gathering of remembrance will be held Tuesday, Feb. 4, at 10:30 a.m. at Waters Funeral Home, 50 S. Main St., Concord.
Burial will follow at the New Hampshire State Veterans Cemetery in Boscawen.
In lieu of flowers, the family is requesting that donations be made in his name to the Society of Former Special Agents of the FBI General Scholarship Fund (socxfbi.org).
Waters Funeral Home - Concord
50 S. Main St. Concord, NH 03302-0670
Published in The Concord Monitor on Feb. 3, 2014