TUCSON, Ariz. - Frank Herbert Johnson, 79, formerly of Shelburne Falls, MA, died Wednesday, Feb. 20, 2013, in Tucson
He was born on May 18, 1933, in Greenfield, MA, the son of Carl and Annie Johnson. Frank was a graduate of Arms Academy in 1952 and joined the Navy in December 1952. From 1953-1955, he was stationed at Oceana Naval Air Station, VA. Part of his duties during that time included two Mediterranean cruises – a summer cruise on the USS Coral Sea in 1953 and a 1954 winter cruise on the USS Champlain. He completed his four year service with the U.S. Navy
in Chincoteague, VA.
In March 1957, Frank joined the U.S. Air Force
and attended the Air Police School before he went overseas to Kimpo AFB, Korea. While there, he attended Sentry Dog School. Returning stateside in 1958, he was assigned to Davis Monthan AFB in Tucson. While there he met Miss Lucy Steelman and they wed on Nov. 16, 1960.
In 1964, Frank's next assignment took him to Loring AFB, ME, until 1966. Next, came a one-year tour of duty in Nha Trang, Vietnam. Returning to the U.S. in 1967, he was stationed at Vandenberg AFB, CA, for the next four years. During that time, this dog lover went on a Temporary Duty Assignment to Dog School at Lackland AFB, TX, where he was part of their first dog Patrol Class. Leaving Vandenberg in 1971, his last two years of active duty took them back to DMAFB.
After his retirement in April 1973, he took classes at Pima Community College and the University of AZ from 1974–1983.
Following his wife's diagnosis with Alzheimer's disease in January 1992, Frank lovingly cared for her until her death on July 19, 2001. He later spent many hours volunteering with the
He was predeceased by his parents and by his beloved wife of 41 years, Lucy Steelman Johnson; three sisters, Flora Hermanson, Florence J. Cummings and Noreen Nolan.
Survivors include his brother, Carl G. Johnson and his wife Lucille of Colrain, MA; many beloved cousins, also, many nieces, nephews, grand- and great-grand nieces and nephews, who will always remember ""Uncle Frank.""
Frank will be remembered by many people as he kept in touch with friends and family. His hobby of bird watching brought him much enjoyment and he encouraged birds to feed and rest in his desert landscaped yard. Frank attended the Chapel at Davis Monthan, AFB, and was part of the Prayer Warriors.
A graveside service will be held on Friday, April 5, at 11 a.m. at Wildwood Cemetery, Amherst.
In lieu of flowers, it was Frank's wish that donations be made to the
of Western Mass., Western Region, 153 Magazine St., Springfield, MA 01109.