Francis “Bud” Johnson, 79, of Burlington Wash., held the hands of daughter, Lori, and daughter-in-law, Joy, and slipped peacefully from this life in the early morning of August 28, 2015.
His greatest love was his family, and he leaves three sons, two daughters, and their spouses— Randy and Joy Johnson, Lori and Vince Manduchi, Dianna and Don Clark, Tom and Vanessa Johnson, and Matt Johnson and Stephanie Pierce. In addition are nine grandchildren and 27 great grandchildren, with a great grandchild and a great-great grandchild on the way.
Bud was born in Seattle and spent his early life in a military family, moving to various posts around the states and the world. After graduation from Spokane High School, he enlisted in the Navy and was sent to Monterey, Calif. While there, he met Janice O’Boyle, of Seaside, Calif., and they were married in Ma 1958.
During his Navy years, he served two tours in Vietnam as an aviation mechanic and helicopter crew chief. His passion for aviation led to piloting tours in his free time and an instructors license.
Bud was involved early in the Alcoholics Anonymous program. He served as a counselor in his later Navy career as well as in civilian life. He was deeply committed to the local chapters of AA, sharing his personal stories to encourage others and forging lifelong friendships. He met his second wife, Mary Minton, when they worked together as counselors for at risk youth, and they married in 1983.
Bud’s heart and soul were pure cowboy. He loved rodeo, bull riding, horse training, working as a farrier, hunting, and camping in a teepee. He retired to a cabin in the mountains near Tonasket and shared his love for the country with his grandchildren’s visits. A night of poker was always a highlight. Bud spent his last years with family and friends in the Skagit Valley, cheering on the Seahawks.
An evening to celebrate his life and share stories is planned for Friday, September 25 at 4:30 p.m., at Hillcrest Lodge in Mt. Vernon. Memorial gifts may be made to an addiction rehabilitation program of the giver’s choice and to the Washington fire relief and reforestation effort.