Gerald Eugene Johnson, 91, formerly of Louisville, passed away peacefully into eternal life Monday, June 16, 2014, at his home in Cecilia.
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Gerald was born on Feb. 25, 1923 on a farm in Holmquist, South Dakota, to Tony and Sylvia Johnson.
Having extended family in California, he traveled there after high school to work in the shipyards as a welder. Drafted into the U.S. Army, he received his basic training at Fort Knox, and while on leave, he saw the love of his life, Odaleen Peters, whom he married four days after his military discharge in 1945.
He was a World War II veteran of the U.S. Army Second Armored Division, Company C Maintenance Battalion and served as a tank and large truck mechanic as well as company clerk.
On June 12, 1944, he landed on Normandy Beach in France and with 11 other men, moved tanks from the beach to the war line some 16 miles away. His company also fought at the Battle of the Bulge and finally entered occupied Berlin.
He was selected for the Library of Congress World War II oral history project which was conducted in the library at North Hardin High School in Radcliff.
He retired from International Harvester, Louisville plant, as a time study engineer and later became a full-time farmer in Eastview. He was happiest on an IH tractor, particularly the Farmall H.
He was baptized in the Lutheran faith and attended Yates Chapel Community Church.
In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by a brother, Lloyd Johnson; and a sister, Bonnie Brolin.
He is survived by his loving wife of 68 years, Odaleen Peters Johnson; a daughter, Linda Kay Linder (Doyle); a grandson, Neal Brandon Sharp (Sarah); a great-granddaughter, Amelia Jane Sharp; two brothers, Norman Johnson (Aida) of Louisville and Walter Johnson (Beverly) of Webster, South Dakota; an aunt, Linnea Lagerquist of San Jose, California and numerous nieces and nephews.
The funeral is at 1 p.m. Thursday at Brown Funeral Home in Elizabethtown with the Rev. Buddy Brooks officiating. Burial follows in Elizabethtown Memorial Gardens.
Visitation is from 4:30 to 8 p.m. Wednesday and continues after 9 a.m. Thursday at the funeral home.
Expressions of sympathy may take the form of contributions to the
Hager Funeral Home
633 Bland Street
Brandenburg, KY 40108
Published in The News-Enterprise on June 18, 2014