RICHFORD – SGT. Joshua Allen Johnson, age 24, was tragically killed in Ramadi, Iraq on Wednesday January 25, 2006 while serving with the Vermont National Guard unit Task Force Saber during Operation Iraqi Freedom.
Josh was born August 13, 1981 in St. Albans, VT the son of Laura Johnson.
Josh was a life long resident of Richford and was a 1999 graduate of Richford High School. When not serving in the Vermont National Guard he was employed at Century Arms in St. Albans.
Josh’s hobbies and interests are as follows, NASCAR Nextel racing, collected NASCAR collectables, hunting especially with his good friends James Seiferth & Marshall Hurlbut, art especially drawing, camping with his family, woodworking, running, biking, physical fitness, photography, reading, skiing, and playing basketball with his brother Beeper.
In June of 2001, Josh joined the United States Army and completed his Basic and Advanced training at Fort Benning, GA. Following completion of his training at Fort Benning, Josh was stationed at Fort Drum, NY with Company C, 1st Battalion, 87th Infantry Regiment. From October 2001 until April 2002, Josh deployed to Afghanistan in support of Operation Anaconda where he earned his Combat Infantry Badge. Sergeant Johnson left the United States Army in June of 2003 and joined Alpha Company 3-172nd Infantry (Mountain) Battalion as an in-service recruit. While with Alpha Company, he completed the Army Air Assault Course in June of 2004. Sergeant Johnson was deployed with Alpha Company, Task Force Saber in January of 2005 in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom.
Sergeant Johnson was decorated with the Bronze Star Medal, Purple Heart, Meritorious Service Medal, two Army Achievement Medals, the Army Good Conduct Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Afghanistan Campaign Medal, Iraq Campaign Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Army Service Ribbon, Overseas Service Ribbons, VT Distinguished Service Medal, VT Veterans Medal, Combat Infantry Badge and the Air Assault Badge.
He is survived by his parents, Laura (Johnson) & Kevin Royea; his siblings, Crystal, Deanna, Kevin Jr., and Lacey; his maternal grandparents, Harold “Durwood” & Phyllis (Simpson) Johnson; his paternal grandfather, Basil Royea all of Richford; several aunts, uncles and cousins including, Bonnie Wilson her husband Asa Jr., their family Hannah and her daughter Taylor Jette, Amanda and her daughter Chloe Wilson – Robitaille, and Sarah Wilson. He was predeceased by his paternal grandmother, Winifred (Currier) Royea; an uncle, Dale Royea; and a cousin, Joshua Cox.
Funeral services will be held Sunday February 5, 2006 at 1:00 PM at the Richford High School Gymnasium with Pastor Patrick Hoadley officiating. Interment will follow in the Richford Center Cemetery.
Visiting hours will be held Saturday from 2-4 & 7-9 PM at the Spears Funeral Home, 96 Dickinson Ave., Enosburg Falls.
For those who wish, contributions in Josh’s memory may be made to the Richford High School Art Department, c/o Mr. Pat Murphy, 1 Corliss Heights, Richford, VT 05476.
Spears Funeral Home is assisting the family with arrangements.
Condolences may be sent to the family on-line through www.spearsfuneralhome.com