William “Leigh” Johnson, 97, of Haines, died Feb. 8, 2007, at his home.
His funeral will be at 10 a.m. Monday at the Seventh-day Adventist Church, 42171 Chico Road, the corner of 17th Street and Pocahontas Road. Pastor Tony Brandon of the Seventh-day Adventist Church will officiate. Interment will be Tuesday at the family pioneer cemetery at Silver Creek.
Leigh was born on March 7, 1909, at Burns to Alfred and Caroline Johnson. He was raised and received his early schooling at Suntex, now known as Riley, in the Silver Creek Valley.
During his teenage years, his mother lived at Burns during the winter so Leigh and his sister, Phyllis, could attend high school.
Leigh spent many, many days riding his horse, Barney, during his years of cattle ranching on the family homestead. He was an excellent roper.
He married Alice Stephens on Aug. 5, 1938. The couple raised four children. After a few years the family moved to Bend where they raised potatoes, cattle and alfalfa hay.
The family moved again in July 1954, this time to Hood River where they owned and operated a “mom and pop” grocery store for the next 17 years. When he retired, Leigh and Alice moved to Mosier, overlooking the Columbia River. Instead of sitting in his rocking chair, Leigh painted houses for the neighbors, pruned cherry trees for the farmers and worked at the city sewer plant for another 17 years.
In the early 1990s, they moved to Salem to be with their son, Dan, and his wife, Marlynne. Since January 2000 they have lived at Haines near their daughter, Carol, and her husband, Russ Johnson.
For the last 30 years of Leigh’s life, he was happiest when digging in his garden. He always had an array of vegetables to share or preserve for the winter.
Survivors include his wife of 68 years, Alice; daughter, Carol, and her husband, Russ Johnson, of Haines; sons, Bill, and his wife, Dorothy Johnson, of Tillamook,Dan and his wife, Marlynne, of Goldendale, Wash., and Bo Johnson of Falls City; 11 grandchildren and 12 great-grandchildren.
He was preceded in death by a sister, Phyllis Patzer; a brother, Raymond Johnson; and parents, Alfred and Caroline Johnson.
In lieu of flowers, the family suggests memorial contributions to Pathway Hospice, to whom the family will always be grateful for the loving care and support provided, or the charity of one’s choice through Gray’s West & Co. Pioneer Chapel, 1500 Dewey Ave., Baker City, OR 97814.
Used with permission from: Baker City Herald, Baker City, Oregon, February 12, 2007
Transcribed by: Belva Ticknor