Feb. 25, 1922 - April 19, 2013
Willard Johnson, 91, of Wallowa, died Friday, April 19, 2013, at the Wallowa Valley Care Center in Enterprise where he had been a residence for the past seven years.
Willard was born Feb. 25, 1922, to John Johnson and Wilma (Hamilton) Johnson of Wallowa. He resided his entire life in Wallowa, except for about a year at Oakridge, Oregon. He attended the Wallowa school system through his junior year.
He is survived by wife Evamae (Maxwell) Johnson of Hurricane Creek Road, Enterprise. They were married for over 64 years.
He is also survived by son Wallace Jack Johnson and his wife Phyllis (Hafer) Johnson of Joseph, son Walter Roy Johnson of Coos Bay, six grandchildren and 12 great-grandchildren.
He was preceded in death by infant daughter, Carolyn; his oldest son, Wesley William Johnson; and his sister, Norma (Johnson) Hanson.
Willard worked for many years at the J. Herbert Bates Lumber mill in Wallowa as a pipe fitter/sprinkler operator. When the mill closed in 1962 he moved to Oakridge to work for Pope and Talbot mill for about one year. He returned to Wallowa to assist with the liquidation of the Bates Mill equipment.
He worked for several years as a janitor at Wallowa High School. He also helped clear the right-of-way for the Natural Gas Pipeline through Umatilla, Union and Wallowa counties. Much of his life he cut, split, stacked and sold firewood for $25 a cord.
Willard loved the outdoors and was an avid hunter, fisherman and trapper. He kept a trap line well into his retirement years. He collected firearms (rifles and shotguns) and reloaded his own ammunition. He enjoyed trap shooting at the Wallowa Gun Club. He was a hobby taxidermist, specializing in game birds and raptors. For many years he served as a volunteer fireman for the Wallowa Fire Department.
He built his own home from Bill Simpsons auto garage in lower valley, where he and Evamae lived many years until he had to sell and move to Leisure Way apartment in Wallowa where he was especially fond of his caregiver Nancy Samples.
After suffering a stroke he was admitted to the Wallowa Valley Care Center where he received excellent care.
Graveside services will be held at 2 p.m. Friday, April 26, at Bramlet Cemetery in Wallowa. Contributions may be made to the Wallowa Valley Care Center, 207 E. Park St., Enterprise OR 97828. Bollman Funeral Home is handling the arrangements.