PAUL A. JOHNSON
PAUL A. JOHNSON, 92, passed away Saturday, March 19, at his home with his family by his side. He was born in Puyallup, Washington, and was predeceased by his daughter, Joyce Christine Johnson; his parents; two brothers; and two sisters. He is survived by his wife, Gloria (Land) Johnson; his daughters, Laura (Edward) Bauer and Ethel (David) Harris; and grandchildren, Elizabeth Bauer, Zachary Harris, Jacob Harris, and Paul Harris.
A product of the Depression and veteran of World War II, Paul Johnson went from a small farm and one-room schoolhouse in rural Washington to earn a doctorate in chemical engineering and travel across five continents.
Shortly after the attack on Pearl Harbor, Paul joined thousands of young men in enlisting in the Army. He qualified for Cadet School and graduated second in his class, something he was proud of all his life. He trained to serve as a meteorologist, and began his service in Los Angeles, where was he able to meet his favorite actor, Bob Hope.
From there he was sent to the South Pacific, where he helped set up weather stations on islands after they had been occupied by US forces. He left the service at the end of the war, having attained the rank of Captain.
He earned his Bachelor of Sciences degree at Washington State University in 1948. After graduation, he was employed at the Hanford Works in Washington state, doing nuclear research. During this time, he met Gloria Land, who was also employed at Hanford. He was captivated by this young woman from Georgia who became the love of his life.
Paul and Gloria were married on February 9, 1952, in Athens, Georgia. They lived in Washington while Paul completed his studies, earning a Masters and Ph.D. in chemical engineering from the University of Washington.
He then went to work for the DuPont Corporation as a chemical engineer, eventually being assigned to the DuPont plant in Louisville, Kentucky. In the mid-1960s, he was assigned to DuPont's operation in Northern Ireland. The family lived in Londonderry for three years, from where they were able to travel throughout Europe and parts of Northern Africa.
Paul retired from full-time work in 1987, but was asked to continue as a consultant in plant construction and management. This phase of his work took him to Russia and China. A man of keen observation and few words, he earned the admiration of his Chinese counterparts, who called him "the inscrutable Dr. Johnson."
During these years, Paul and Gloria traveled across the US and around the world, including Egypt, South America, and Southeast Asia. They also were able to take trips later to their old home in Northern Ireland and, one of Paul's ideal destinations, New Zealand.
He took great pride in his daughters' and grandchildren's achievements, joyfully sitting through hours of recitals, plays, and other events. He loved musicals and show tunes, especially the works of Gilbert and Sullivan.
Combining great intellectual gifts and boundless industry, he became a loving husband and Daddy and Papa, a valued worker, an influential mentor, and an inspiration to those who follow behind.
Visitation will be at the Kraft Funeral Home, 708 E. Spring Street, New Albany, Indiana, on Saturday, March 26 (which would have been his 93rd birthday), from 1 pm to 3 pm. It will be followed by a memorial service and reception at the same location. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made to the Province of Our Lady of Consolation, 101 St. Anthony Drive, Mount St. Francis, Indiana 47146.
Return to Obituaries