James Alexander Johnson, 96, died on April 19, 2022 in Lansing, MI, following a brief illness.
Jim was born on January 9, 1926 in Mount Pleasant, MI, the eldest son of Mark Andrew and Verna Charlotte (Hensley) Johnson of Cadillac, and formerly of Mount Pleasant, Ionia, West Branch and Marion, MI. Jim attended the Cadillac public schools, graduating in 1944. Following high school, he was drafted into the army and fought in the Po Valley of Italy throughout WWII. Jim received the American Theater Service medal, Good Conduct medal and European-African-Middle Eastern Theater Service medal. Upon his return, he enrolled at Michigan Technological University, receiving a Bachelor’s Degree in Civil Engineering. On October 12, 1957, he married Geraldine Wheeler in Kalamazoo, MI. Following her death in 1978, Jim married Dorothy Lively of Grand Ledge in 1981. She preceded him in death in 1997. Jim worked as a Civil Engineer for the State of Michigan, where he held a Professional Engineer license. He engineered many of the major Michigan road system projects, such as the building of I-94. Jim continued to get together with other retired engineers for breakfast and to discuss the latest technology. An avid reader, Jim was constantly reading books on a wide variety of subjects. He traveled to places such as Great Britain and China and enjoyed taking photos of his travels. Jim was an avid photographer and received numerous awards for his photographic works. He enjoyed being outdoors, whether gardening or just birdwatching. Jim’s extended family was very important to him, and he loved attending holiday get-togethers and the annual Johnson Reunion. He was proud of his Scottish heritage and carried on Scottish traditions like eating oatmeal every day, even if it was in cookie form. Jim had a deep faith and his church was also a very important part of his life. He sang in the choir and led Bible Study classes for many years, and remained an active church member his entire life. Jim was a lifetime member of the American Legion, Business & Professional Post #530. He was also a member of the fraternal order of Free Masons, Clam Lake Lodge #0331.
He is survived by his brothers Robert (Kathleen) Johnson of Canby, OR and William (Joyce) Johnson of Marion, MI; his special friend Martha Diebold of West Chester, PA; eleven nieces and nephews; many cousins, grand and great-grand nieces and nephews, as well as many dear friends and colleagues.
Jim was preceded in death by his parents, wives Gerry and Dorothy, and his sister, Jane Ellen (Johnson) Hall.
A funeral service for Jim will be held at 11 a.m. on Monday, April 25, 2022 at Fosnaught-Holdship Funeral Home in Marion, Michigan. The family will receive friends from 10am until the time of the service. The funeral service will be live-streamed for those unable to attend through zoom, available at https://us06web.zoom.us/j/83095545734?pwd=TWtTUkhXK1ZMNURTMjY4Ry9TU1lyUT09, passcode: 042522. A Celebration of Life will also take place in Grand Ledge at a future date. Burial will take place at Greenwood Cemetery in Marion. In lieu of flowers, remembrances can be made to Michigan Technological University - Civil Environmental & Geospatial Engineering, Grand Ledge First Congregational United Church of Christ Endowment Fund, or the charity of one’s choice.
The family is being served by Fosnaught-Holdship Funeral Home.
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