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Ilion, NY 13357
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JOHN JOHNSON - ILION, N.Y./ESSEX JUNCTION, Vt. - Mr. John Johnson, a longtime Ilion, N.Y., resident, passed away in Vermont on Tuesday, May 14, 2013. Mr. Johnson was born in the town of Columbia, N.Y., a son of the late John and Victoria Johnson. He was educated in a one-room schoolhouse. In 1943, at a very young age, he enlisted in the United States Navy, where he trained at the Naval Training Station in Samson, N.Y. He attended Armed Guard School in Norfolk, Va., and Brooklyn, N.Y. John served in the North Atlantic above the Arctic Circle, protecting convoys. He also drove a landing craft on D Day. In 1944, John transferred to the Pacific Theater, where he participated in the invasion of the Philippines. He also served in Okinawa and at Staff Headquarters, 14th Naval District, Hawaii. Some of the ships he served on were the Sharpsburg (tanker), Ocean Mail (cargo), Alcoa Pointer (cargo), the President Jackson (personnel transport), and the Pittsburg (heavy cruiser). By the time of his discharge in 1946, John had received several medals, including the Victory Medal, American Theater Medal, European Theater Medal (one Star), Philippine Liberation Ribbon (one star), Asiatic Pacific Medal (one Star), and the Korean Medal. He also received a citation from the Secretary of the Navy, James Forestal, for helping to fight the fire that ultimately saved the Sharpsburg. John then married the former Katherine Firra, of Herkimer, N.Y., on Sept. 4, 1948, in St. Francis de Sales Church. John and Kay enjoyed 56 years of friendship and a loving marriage, until her passing in 2004. John joined the Naval Reserve and served for about four years before being called back to serve in the Korean War in 1950, serving on troop transports until 1952. He was honorably discharged after attaining the rank of Gunner Third Class. John was employed with Chicago Pneumatic, where he was actually one of the first people hired for the then new company. After serving his country, John attended Utica College, University of Syracuse, on the G.I. Bill, for training in office management. John started at Remington Arms in Ilion, N.Y., in 1964, where he worked his way up to the position of foreman and served as such in several departments where he was respected for his management style. John retired in 1986. John was a parishioner of Annunciation Church, Ilion, N.Y. He was a member of the American Legion, Mohawk for 60plus years, as well as the Colchester American Legion for the last four and a half years. He was also a lifetime member of the Samson World War II Vets. He was active in his community as a coach for Ilion Little League, Babe Ruth, and he was an instructor for Junior Achievement. His hobbies included golf, gardening, history, and tending his home and lawn. Several years after Kay's death, John moved to Essex Junction to live with their son, Art, and his wife, Lynn. Here he continued to enjoy tending the lawn with the riding mower and raising vegetables for the family. John is survived by his son, Arthur P. and wife, Lynn; sister, Judy Koblinski of Callicoon, N.Y.; along with several nieces and nephews. John was predeceased by his wife, Kay; his parents, John and Victoria; and brother, Michael. Art and Lynn would like to thank John's good friends, Betty and Frank Dolan, Linda and Kelly Madia, and the Gollegly family, for the care they showed him over the years. We would like to thank Dr. Wright, Dr. Carey, Dr. Suratt, Dr. Kunin and their staffs, for the excellent care John received. We also appreciate everything that the staff at Keene Medical did for him. And last, but not least, we want to thank the nurses and staff of the Vermont Visiting Nurses Association, angels one and all! John's funeral will take place on Monday, May 20, 2013, at 1 p.m., officiated by the Very Reverend Mark Cunningham at Enea Family Funeral Home, 4309 Acme Road, Ilion, N.Y. (town of Frankfort). He will then be laid to rest in Calvary Cemetery, West German Street, Herkimer, N.Y., next to his beloved Kay. The family is being served by Kevin E. Enea, Funeral Director, Enea Family Funeral Home. To leave a message of condolence, please visit our website at If one would like to make donations in John's honor, we'd be pleased if you would consider the VNA, 1110 Prim Road, Colchester, VT 05446; or the animal shelter of your choice.

Published in The Burlington Free Press on May 18, 2013
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