NIELS JOHNSEN

Obituary
7 entries
  • "Out thoughts and our prayers are with you - Ragnhild..."
    - Ragnhild Daasvand
  • "Thinking about and missing a warm a friendly man... and his..."
    - Patience M. Osborn Chalmers
  • "What a great guy.... and a real gentleman! Fun to play..."
    - Peter Blake
  • "Dear Mr. Niels M. Johnsen and family, We are so sorry to..."
  • "Marlene and Niels, So sorry to read of your father's..."
    - Lynn Staufenberg
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JOHNSEN--Niels Winchester.

Age 93, Rumson. After busy summer days with grandchildren and great-grandchildren, Niels Winchester Johnsen, 93, passed away at home in Rumson, New Jersey, on Friday, August 7, 2015. Niels was predeceased by his wife, Millicent Mercer Johnsen, on September 7, 2013, and their daughter, Gretchen Johnsen Bryant, on June 18, 2014. Niels was the son of Niels F. Johnsen and Anita Winchester Johnsen of New Orleans and was born in New Orleans. Niels retired in 2003 as Chairman of International Shipholding Corporation, the parent company of Central Gulf Lines, Inc. and Waterman Steamship Corporation. Niels was co-founder, with his father and brother, Erik F. Johnsen, of Central Gulf Steamship Corporation in New Orleans, April 1947. After attending Tulane University, Niels began his career in the maritime industry in 1942, serving over three and one- half years as an officer in the Merchant Marine at sea during World War II. During his sea duty, he survived two ship torpedo sinkings. After coming ashore in 1946, Niels joined States Marine Lines, a United States flag shipping company chaired by his father-in-law, Henry Dickson Mercer. Niels served as vice- president of chartering at States Marine in New York until February 1957 when he resigned to devote full time to Central Gulf. During the years 1957-1971, Central Gulf became the major United States flag shipping company operating between the United States and the Middle East- Southeast Asia. In 1971 Central Gulf merged with Trans Union Corporation. Niels became a director of Trans Union as a result of the merger. During the years 1971- 1979, Central Gulf continued its growth. In 1979 Trans Union spun off its shipping interests under the name of International Shipholding Corporation and Niels became Chairman. International Shipholding continued its dominant United States flag presence under Niels' and his brother Erik's leadership. In 1985 International Shipholding became the first United States flag carrier to enter the specialized pure car/truck carrier trade. At various times over his 60-year maritime career, Niels served on the board of managers of the American Bureau of Shipping and the board of trustees of the Seaman's Church Institute. For many years he was a trustee of the Atlantic Mutual Insurance Corporation and a director of the Centennial Insurance Company and served as a director and chairman of the National Cargo Bureau. Over his long and distinguished career in the maritime industry, Niels' many achievements were given special recognition including the Seamen's Church Institute Silver Bell Award in 1988 and the Admiral of the Ocean Seas (AOTOS) Award in 1993. Niels was a member of India House, Rumson Country Club, Seabright Beach Club and Lyford Cay Club. He was a member of the First Presbyterian Church at Red Bank-Tower Hill and the Church of the Holy Cross in Vail, Colorado. Niels loved golf and was a long-time member of the United States Seniors Golf Association. Niels is survived by his brother, Erik F. Johnsen and his wife Barbara V. Johnsen; his two children: son Niels M. and wife Marlene; daughter Ingrid J. and husband William B. Barrett; seven grandchildren: Lisa J. and husband Michael S. Kane, Christina B. and husband Todd R. Robida, Elizabeth B. and husband Jeffrey T. Gardner, Jonathan W. and wife Carissa S. Barrett, and W. Brooks Barrett; Stephanie A. and husband Ken Moyers, and Heather C. Bryant; twelve great-grandchildren: Steven, Karl and Sofia Kane; Catherine and Benjamin Robida; Davis, Henry and Jack Gardner; Liam Barrett; and Harrison, Hayden and Hewitt Moyers. A service followed by a reception will be held at 11:00am on Thursday, August 13, 2015, at the Elberon Memorial Church, 70 Park Avenue, Elberon, New Jersey 07740. Interment is private. In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made in Niels' memory to the Elberon Memorial Church or Twin Lights Historical Society, Twin Lights Historic Site, Lighthouse Road, Highlands, New Jersey 07732.

Published in The New York Times on Aug. 11, 2015
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