George William Johnson, Jr. 86, died Sunday, Aug. 19, 2007, at his home in Havre.
His graveside service will be 11 a.m. Wednesday at the Highland Cemetery with Marvin Eldridge officiating; burial with full military honors will follow. George was born May 25, 1921, in Scobey to George W. and Rose D. (Mahler) Johnson Sr. He was raised and educated in Havre, attending Havre Public Schools. In the summer of 1938, he worked for the Great Northern Railroad. He attended Havre High School his senior year but chose to go back to work for the railroad in the spring of his final year. He also enlisted in the Army National Guard. In 1940, he was sent overseas to fight in World War II and served in the Pacific Theater and Europe. He received a Silver Star and was honorably discharged as a private in 1945. He returned to Havre after his discharge and resumed his position at the Great Northern Railroad. He married Flora D. Schumacher on May 18, 1946, in Shelby. The couple had five children. While working for the railroad, George and Flora also purchased a farm seven miles east of Havre in Blaine County in the early 1950s. George and Flora built this farm up from scratch and raised livestock and farmed for many years. George retired from the Burlington Northern Railroad in 1981 as a machinist. His wife Flora passed away in February of 1988. George enjoyed spending time in the Bear Paw Mountains, and he would often take his family camping every summer there. He also liked to hunt and fish and the Missouri Brakes was a favorite destination. He enjoyed working on his machinery and fixing everything that needed to be fixed whether it was on the farm or for someone else George could always manage to fix it. He also enjoyed raising his livestock and farming. He always had a big laugh and a story, for all he met. His heart was large and kind, he was always willing to take in and care for an animal in need, from a kitten to an antelope, he was there, with a kind word and a gentle hand. Even the rattle snake that went into his house and ended up biting him, did not receive any harsh treatment, he simple caught it and put it into a coffee can to be later released. He is preceded in death by his parents, his wife, Flora Johnson in 1988; one son, James J. Johnson who died in 2000; and one sister, Margaret Nicholl in 1995. George is survived by his children, William C. Johnson of Havre, Robert D. Johnson of Washington, Jane Johnson of Havre and Richard W. (Marvia) Johnson of Fort Benton; two brothers, John Frank Johnson of Seattle, Wash. And Bryce E. (May) Johnson of Havre; daughter inlaw, Connie Johnson of Missoula; three grandchildren, four step-grandchildren and several nieces and nephews. Memorial contributions in George’s honor may be made to Bear Paw Hospice C/O NMH P.O. Box 1231 Havre, Montana 59501. Services and arrangements have been entrusted to Holland & Bonine Funeral Home.