Maurice (Maury) Verner Johnson
Maury was born in Bemidji, Minnesota to Elvera and Maurice Johnson Sr. He died at the age 87 of as the result of complications associated with kidney failure. He graduated from Bemidji High School in 1943 and earned a BS in Engineering in 1953 from the University of California at Berkley. In 1944, while in the US Army basic training, he married Ruth Durand, his wife of 68 years. He was assigned to Company G, third platoon of the 386th Infantry Regiment, 97th division at Camp Cooke, California. After approximately twenty-five days of combat, he was wounded and captured. He was incarcerated as a POW near Pilsen, Czechoslovakia. He was liberated by US Paratroopers on the morning of May 7, 1945, the day Germany surrendered. As a combat infantryman, he earned the Bronze Star
and Two Purple Heart
s Maury was registered in California as an Agricultural Engineer, an Industrial Engineer and a Mechanical Engineer. He was hired by Sunkist Growers in 1953 as their first engineer. He eventually became the director of Sunkist's Fresh Fruit Research. In 1984 he became Sunkist's first Vice President of Research. His department was very prolific producing over 200 patents of which about 20 were his. He retired from Sunkist after 37 years, in 1990. Maury was preceded in death by his parents Elvera and Maurice Johnson, Sr., wife Ruth and older sister Phyllis Eastburn. He leaves behind his daughter Susan Sharp and son Steve, granddaughters Debbie Swanson and Julie Hough, grandsons Jeff Johnson and Chris Sharp and great-granddaughters Alexandra Hough, Madison Johnson and Taylor Johnson. He also leaves his brother Dale Johnson, sister Shirley Dagen, and special niece Donna Nosek of Bemidji, Minnesota. A celebration of life luncheon will be held for friends and family at noon at Red Hill Country Club on Wednesday, June 5th. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that a memorial contribution be made to Casa Colina Foundation, P.O. Box 6001, Pomona, California 91769-6001.