Longtime Kasilof resident Mathias "Matt" Walter Johnson died unexpectedly Monday, June 23, 2008 from a heart attack while he was in his favorite chair at home. He was 64.
Funeral services will be held 4 p.m. Tuesday, July 1, 2008 at Our Lady of Perpetual Help Catholic Church, 222 West Redoubt Ave. in Soldotna. Father Andy Sensenig, OMI, will officiate. A motorcycle procession will start at 1:30 p.m. at Peninsula Memorial Chapel and will proceed to the church. Visitation will be held from 2 to 3:30 p.m. at the church. A reception will follow at O'Neill Hall. Pallbearers will include Mr. Johnson's brothers Bob, Greg, Mike, Ray, son, Nathan and son-in-law Ryan Gamble. Honorary Pallbearers will be his brothers Steve and Joe. Military honors will be performed by VFW Post 10046 and American Legion Post 20. Additional services will be held in Churchville, Iowa, August 7, 2008 at 3 p.m.
Mr. Johnson was born May 22, 1944 to Robert Joseph and Laurine Mary (Hoelting) Johnson at Mercy Hospital in Des Moines, Iowa. He graduated from Martensdale High School in Martensdale, Iowa in 1962. He entered the U.S. Marine Corps in 1962 and served until being honorably discharged in 1966. After the service, Matt met Janice Mika. They were married on May 9, 1970 and lived in Indianola, Iowa, selling Hondas at the family business until moving to Alaska on April 1, 1981, where they made their home in Kasilof. Mr. Johnson had sold Honda motorcycles and most recently worked at Stanley Ford. He was a member of the Catholic church in Soldotna for 27 years.
The family wrote, "Matt started every morning with a reading from the Bible to guide him through the day and carried a stone cross in his pocket for inspiration and guidance. He loved life and shared that love with everyone he meets. He enjoyed speeding down the road on his Goldwing with his friends or riding through the deepest snow on his snowmachine. An evening walk around the neighborhood with his dog Darby was his favorite way to end the day and he always took time to smell the flowers, he also enjoyed playing golf, star gazing and being with friends. Above all, he loved his wife, kids and grandchildren more than anything. He made us feel so strong, like we could do anything. His love and his silliness will be missed, but his memory will always be with us."
Mr. Johnson was preceded in death by his parents, and sister, Patty Hill.
He is survived by his wife of 38 years, Jan Johnson of Kasilof; daughter and son in-law, Jade and Ryan Gamble of Soldotna; son and daughter in-law, Nathan and Kelly Johnson of Soldotna; grandchildren, Ashley, Caitlin and Rebecca, Alexandra and Cameron, all of Soldotna; brothers, Steve Johnson of Indianola, Joe Johnson of Martensdale, Bob Johnson of Independence, Mo., Greg Johnson of Wichita, Kan., and Ray Johnson of Grayling, Mich.
Arrangements were made by Peninsula Memorial Chapel.
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