TUPPER LAKE - William C. "Bill" Johnson Jr. of Tupper Lake passed on Monday, Sept. 10, 2012, at Adirondack Medical Center in Saranac Lake following an accident at home.
Born April 4, 1924, in St. Petersburg, Fla., to W.C. "Chet" Johnson Sr. and Ellen Knapp Johnson, the family subsequently moved back to Tupper Lake, where Bill was raised, attending school and graduating from Tupper Lake High School. He entered the Armed Forces, serving his country during World War II. Stationed in the Pacific, he worked with the top-rated construction team providing "detached service" to the Air Force, Marines, Navy and Field Artillery, on demand by all branches of the service. Returning to the Adirondacks, he attended Clarkson college where he met his first wife, Jean M. Schutt, a student at Crane School of Music. The couple settled in Tupper Lake and he resumed working with his father Chet and his brother Stanley in the family's general contracting business, Wm. C. Johnson & Sons. Jean predeceased Bill in March of 1954, leaving him with two small children.
In September of 1955, Bill married Jane Bobak and had three additional children. Bill remained in Tupper Lake, working here and serving the community in many ways. His strong belief in education and service led him to be active in community affairs. He spent numerous seasons as a volunteer ski patroller at Big Tupper Ski Area, was a founding member of the Tupper Lake Rescue Squad, served in the Auxiliary Police, on the local Republican Committee and in many other local groups. He was a member of the vestry of St. Thomas Episcopal Church and served on the BOCES board for 22 years. From 1946 until his death, he was an active Mason, receiving his 65-year service award in June 2011, as well as being a Shriner.
Bill's extensive accomplishments during his many years as a general contractor in the area include construction of the Tupper Lake Post Office, the Goff-Nelson Memorial Library, the original lodge at Big Tupper Ski Area, the 19th hole at the golf course, both Forked Lake dam and Setting Pole dam and all the construction work at the Adirondack Museum from 1955 until retirement in 1982. In addition, he built and modified many homes and camps in the area.
Bill enjoyed many activities, passing his energetic lifestyle and work ethic as well as his love for hunting, fishing, skiing, golf and travel to his children and sharing many hours at the ski area and River Ridge Hunting Club with his children.
He was pre-deceased by his parents and his sisters, Dorothy (Leon) Ouillette, Emily (Bob) Brown and Mary Ellen (Ed) Hall. He is survived by his wife of 57 years, Jane; two brothers: Stanley and Wesley Johnson and sister Faith (Peter) Day; his children: Sandi (Bill) Olsen, Martha, Lois, Lyndon (companion Jodi Willett) and Peter Johnson; his grandchildren: Tyler, Lucas and Kathleen Johnson, Jeremy and Samantha Johnson, Elena Johnson and Rob Olsen; as well as many cousins, nieces and nephews.
At Bill's request, there will be no calling hours. A public graveside Masonic Ceremony will be held at Lakeview cemetery on Hosley Avenue at 11 a.m. Friday, Oct. 5, 2012, followed by a reception at the train station in downtown Tupper Lake. Memorial donations may be made to the Adirondack Museum, the Masonic Home in Utica (attn: JP Kidwell, Masonic Home, 2150 Bleeker St. Utica, NY 13501) or the Shiners.
You are your brother's keeper; if someone needs help, help them.