George W. Johnson

George W. JOHNSON December 22, 1912 ~ March 10, 2011 The oldest working real-estate broker in the United States, George W. Johnson, 98, of Seattle, died on March 10, 2011, from complications of pulmonary fibrosis. Up until 6 weeks ago, he was still driving himself to his Ballard office, George W. Johnson Realtors, and working 6-hour days. Alan Schauffler of King 5 News, commenting in his 2007 Up Front feature of George called him 'The Oracle of Ballard' a moniker he proudly embraced to his final days. George was born in Wessington, SD, on December 22, 1912, to Oscar and Johanna Johnson who were both Danish Immigrants. The second of 4 brothers, George grew up on the family farm and spent his youth helping his father with the family homestead and learning the value of hard work. He met and married Clarice A. Scandrett in 1933, while they were both attending a small Free Methodist college in South Dakota. He left South Dakota in 1934 after being recruited by the President of Seattle Pacific College (now SPU) to finish his last two years at SPC's growing Seattle campus. He earned his tuition by rising every morning at 4am to work as the school's baker. His parents followed him to Seattle, and after George com pleted his college degree in 1936, he and his father started a dairy farm in the Broadview neighbor hood of N. Seattle, where View lands Elementary School sits to day. After graduation - and never afraid of hard work - George delivered milk before go ing off to work as an elementary school teacher in White Center. After sending $5 to Olympia for a real estate license, he started selling homes, in the evenings, from a real estate office on 15th Ave NW in Ballard. His Ballard office continues on the same land as that original office. He was an early pioneer in the Real Estate Industry, and was a career-long, 75+ year member of the National Association of Realtors. He was equally proud of his life long in volvement with First Free Methodist Church, Seattle. George's commitments to his family, to his church, and to hard work were the prized bench marks of his life. George was married to Clarice until her death in Jan. 1993. Then at 81 years of age he found the second love of his life in his widowed sister-in-law, Esther Johnson. In late 1993 George & Esther were married and spent 17 wonderful years together until her passing at age 101 in 2010. George cherished these years with his beloved Esther and loved this time spent with his new extended family. He was preceded in death by his parents and brothers, Walter, Elmer and John.George is survived by his loving children and step children, Jim Johnson and his wife Barbara; Joybelle Johnson-Eriks and her husband Paul Eriks; Karen Johannsen; Robert Johnson and his wife Karen Hoven; JoAnne McDonald; Carolyn Murphy and her husband Gerald; and Janet Henkel. He is also survived by 11 grandchil dren; 20 great-grandchildren and 6 great-great-grandchildren. Service will be held at First Free Methodist Church Sunday 3/20 at 1:00 p.m., 3200 3rd Avenue West, Seattle. Memorial donations may be made to First Free Methodist Church, Seattle; the Clarice A Johnson Memorial Fund; Seattle Pacific University; Operation Night Watch Seattle; Warm Beach Health Care Center, 20420 Marine Dr, Stanwood, Wa 98292; or New Horizons Ministries, Seattle, Wa. The family would like to thank the wonderful medical care provided by Dr's George Pappas & James Coghland and Providence Hospice Care. Special thanks for the loving home care provided by extended family in his final weeks. Grand children Keri Pederson and Kurt Johnson lovingly handled a major portion of the care with patience and deep compassion. If history and habit is any predictor, 'Time to Get Up!!' will be among the first words spoken by dad as he greets his long unseen family and loved ones. Sign George's on-line Guest Book at

Published in The Seattle Times from Mar. 18 to Mar. 20, 2011