Earl Johnson

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Earl and Lorraine Johnson

After 66 years of marriage, Earl and

Lorraine Johnson passed away from natural causes within 13 days of each other on December 30th and December 17th, 2017, respectively. He was 98; she had just celebrated her 89th birthday.

Both were born and raised in North Dakota, the children of hard working immigrant parents fighting for survival in the wake of the Great Depression. In his early years, Earl joined the Civilian Conservation Corps and excelled in school sports. He joined the army, going on to become a paratrooper with the 101st Airborne Division at the Invasion of Normandy and the Battle of Bastogne. During his service, he earned three purple hearts.

After returning from the war, Earl met Lorraine at a school dance at Minot State College where they were both studying, and in 1951 they eloped. They started a family, and soon Lorraine got a job working for the Bureau of Indian Affairs while Earl worked for Firestone Tires, Allstate Insurance and a myriad of

entrepreneurial side jobs.

In 1966,

Lorraine's job with the BIA transferred the family from Aberdeen, South Dakota to


Lorraine continued working for the BIA and was one of the founding members of the ABQ Gluten Intolerance Support Group. Earl worked as a Special Ed teacher with the Albuquerque Public Schools. They were active with the Senior Olympics, earning many gold and silver medals in regional and national competitions. They stayed busy with regular bowling leagues, bridge groups and their CCC and Gluten Intolerance meetings.

They are survived by their children, Governor Gary Johnson and his fiancee Kate Prusack of Taos, Lori Hagen and her husband Scott of Corrales, and Scott Johnson and his wife Andrea of San Antonio, TX. They are also survived by five grandchildren, Seah, Erik, Kurt, Kyle and Tyler Johnson; and two great-grandchildren, Cora and Tove Johnson.

A celebration of life will take place April 24th, 2018, 11:00 am, El Pinto Restaurant.

Published in Albuquerque Journal from Jan. 14 to Apr. 22, 2018
bullet Purple Heart bullet U.S. Army