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Rev. Carl William "Bill" Johnson Jr.

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JOHNSON Rev. Carl William "Bill",Jr. Reverend Carl William Bill Johnson Jr., of Williston, Ohio, died unexpectedly of a heart attack on Thursday, June 1, 2006, at St. Charles Hospital in Oregon, Ohio. He was born to Carl William Johnson Sr. and Olga Theresa Petersen Johnson on May 24, 1930, in Brooklyn, New York. He graduated from Brooklyn Technical High School and Cornell University, in Ithaca, NY. He graduated in 1956 from Luther Seminary, in St. Paul, Minnesota. While at the seminary he met Carolyn Kristin Lyders, his wife of 50 years. They were married in Fremont, Nebraska, on May 26, 1956. He was ordained on July 8, 1956, at Bethany Lutheran Church in Brooklyn, NY, and began his ministry in Worchester, Massachusetts. In 1961, Rev. Johnson and his family began a four year mission in Tanzania, Africa. Upon his return he began his teaching career at Michigan State University, teaching Swahili, the native language of Tanzania. In 1970, the family moved to Pontiac, Michigan, where he continued his teaching career at Oakland University. During this time he also continued his ministry with the Lutheran church, serving as a supply pastor and interim pastor. In 1978, Rev. Johnson took a position as chaplain at the Luther Home of Mercy in Williston. He later embarked on a 17 year computer programming career with Exothermics of Toledo. Retiring in 1997, he remained active in the Lutheran church, visiting Tanzania twice, as well as Serbia, as a Synod representative. An avid woodworker, he filled his home with beautifully hand crafted furniture and other items. A strong interest in genealogy kept his computer busy, researching his family history back to the fifteenth century and traveling to Sweden and Norway to explore church archives and museums. Bill was very active in the Genealogy by Computer Society, the Scandinavian Club, and St. John Lutheran Church. He loved music, enjoyed playing the piano and singing in the church choir, and sang with the Toledo Choral Society for many years. He was also an avid photographer. Bill is survived by his wife, Kris; daughter, Dorothy L. Johnson of Lansing, Michigan; two sons, Mark W. Jeanne Longmuir of Cleveland Heights, Ohio, and Dr. Peter C. Caryn Padgett of Genoa, Ohio; grandchildren, Emily and William Johnson and sister, Eleanor Gravdahl, of Jamestown, Rhode Island. A private burial was held June 3, 2006, in Clay Township Cemetery, Genoa, Ohio. A memorial service will be conducted at 11 00 a.m., Saturday, June 10, at St. John Evangelical Lutheran Church in Williston, Ohio, with a reception following. Services will be handled by Robinson-Walker Funeral Home in Genoa. The family suggests, in lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to St. John Evangelical Lutheran Church or the Northwestern Ohio Synod Global Mission Fund.
Published in Toledo Blade from June 4 to June 6, 2006
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