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BERWICK, Maine - Forrest Harland Johnson, age 96, a lifelong resident of Berwick, Maine, died January 20th, 2013, peacefully with family members and caring staff by his side at Varney Crossing in North Berwick. He was predeceased by his wife Helen Agatha Clement Johnson, of 65 years, in 2011.
Mr. Johnson was born July 27, 1916, in Rochester, the son of Harold E. and Mildred D. (Wildes) Johnson. He was a graduate of Berwick High School Class of 1934 and proudly served his country with the Third Marine Division in the Pacific Theatre during World War II. Upon his return, he operated the family-owned Berwick IGA grocery store. When the business sold in 1972, it had been Johnson owned for 60 years. He later worked for Hall Brothers Roofing, drove a MSAD #60 school bus for 10 years and officially retired in 1988.
Mr. Johnson is a life member of the Third Marine Division, the American Legion Charles S. Hatch Post #79 of Berwick, Veterans of Foreign Wars Post #4485 and the Fraternal Order of Eagles Post #1887 of Somersworth. He is a former member of the Odds Fellow Echo Lodge #59 and the Knights of Pythias of Berwick, Maine. Forrest received special recognition from the State of Maine on December 7th, 2011 for his 65 years of continuous service to the American Legion.
He pitched and played outfield for the Berwick Aces, a semi-professional baseball team, which was very competitive in the New England area. Forrest was the first President of the Somersworth-Berwick Minor League and Johnson's Market sponsored several teams. He was the President of the Sullivan-Berwick Alumni Association and worked to keep this group active. Forrest was an avid fisherman and bowler, representing the Eagles in many candlepin tournaments throughout New England. He was a lifelong golfer and won the 1998 Lake Fairways Championship in Fort Myers, Fla. He loved cheering on the Boston Red Sox, completing crossword puzzles and competing in card games of any kind.
He will be fondly remembered for his kindness, courage and love for his family and country.
He was proud to be a member of the "The Greatest Generation" and gave generously to all. Forrest loved attending family events and followed athletic events of many family members, often times driving many miles to watch.
Mr. Johnson is survived by a daughter, Brenda J. Linton and her husband John of Westerly, R.I., three sons Stephen C. Johnson and his wife Diane of The Villages Fla., Harland M. Johnson and his wife Christine of York, Maine, and Forrest H. Banks and his wife Vicki of Fort Myers, Fla., nine grandchildren John F. Linton and his wife Samantha of Mt. Pleasant S.C., Todd G. Linton of Providence R.I., Stephen C. Jr and his wife Michaela of King George, Va., Scott C. Johnson of Somersworth, Shawn C. Johnson and his wife Melissa of Somersworth, Jake R. Johnson and his wife Kathryn of Berwick, Maine, Janelle L. Estes and her husband Steve of York, Maine, Jaclyn S. Johnson of York, Maine, and Brannon and her husband Matt Belcastro of Fort Myers, Fla. and eight great grandchildren. A sister, Harriet E. Johnson, predeceased him in 1933.
In lieu of flowers, please send donations to the American Legion Post #79 Scholarship Fund in Berwick, Maine, c/o Anthony Cincotta, PO Box 977, Berwick, Maine 03901.
Calling hours for Forrest will be 11:30 a.m. on Friday January 25, 2013 followed by a memorial service at 1 p.m. at the Laing-Bibber Funeral Chapel, 36 Rochester Street, Berwick, Maine. Interment will be in the spring at the Evergreen Cemetery in Berwick.
Arrangements are in care of Laing-Bibber Funeral Chapel, 36 Rochester Street, Berwick, Maine 03901, www.bibberfuneral.com.
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Published in Fosters from Jan. 23 to Jan. 27, 2013