MIDDLETOWN – Known to almost every one as "Johnson," Nils Gordon Johnson, a respected high school chemistry teacher and much decorated World War II navy veteran died suddenly Sunday, June 9. He was 87.
Johnson was a radioman aboard the Attack Transport ship, USS Doyen, which took part in the in the Pacific Theater attacks on Saipan, Guam, Leyte, Luzon, the Philippines, and Solomon Islands. For this he was awarded the American Theater Medal, the Victory Medal, the Asiatic Pacific Theater Medal and the Philippine Liberation Ribbon. He was one of only 3 surviving veterans of the USS Doyen before his passing.
He earned his BA in 1950 from UConn, a BS from Southern CT Teachers College, and a MALS from Wesleyan University in 1958. In summers National Science Foundation grants allowed him to take additional chemistry courses at Syracuse, Brown, Univ. of Wisconsin and other schools.
It was at UConn that he met Adele Ewanowski, a Middletown native whom he married in 1952. Nils and Adele were to celebrate their 61th anniversary on June 28.
Johnson taught in public schools for 41 years, teaching chemistry and Electronics-26 years at Hartford Public High School and tutoring night school students.
He was active in his parish, St Mary of Czestochowa, and participated in many organizations, including the New England Association of Chemistry Teachers, AFT-CIO, Hartford Federation of Teachers (Retired), Mx Country Retired Teachers, Catholic War Vets, Polish League of Am. Vets, Manchester Army Navy Club, Friends of Long Hill, Kosziuszko Club (Rockfall) and AARP.
Johnson is survived by three sisters: Joyce D'Angelo of W. Yarmouth, MA, Naomi Wolf Otulak, of Farmington and Marilyn Cone of Moodus; three sons Paul Johnson, of South Dennis, MA, Peter Johnson, of Newport, RI,daughter Catherine Johnson, of Middletown, CT and Michael Johnson of New York City; granddaughters Alexis Johnson Zou and Erica Johnson; grandsons
Neil and Marc Johnson; daughters-in-law Sherry Dong Johnson and Violeta Lam Johnson; and dear friend, Lynne Torrey.
THE FUNERAL will be held at 11 am St. Mary of Czestochowa Church, So. Main Street, Sat. June 15. CALLING HOURS will be held Fri 6-8 pm at Biega's Funeral Home on Silver St and Sat 10-11 am at the church. Burial with military honors: Calvary Cemetery, Bow Lane.
Luncheon and tributes to follow at The Elks Club, Saybrook Rd. In lieu of flowers, a donation to the Commemorative Tree Program may be made to the Long Hill Restoration Fund (Wadsworth Mansion, Middletown)
Published in The Middletown Press on June 13, 2013