Percy 'Per' Wilson Johnson
Former Kenai Peninsula resident Percy “Per” Wilson Johnson died Sunday, Oct. 23, 2005, at his home in Medford, Ore. He was 87.
A celebration of life was held for friends and family Thursday, Oct. 27. He was buried next to his wife of 60 years, Vera, at Hillcrest Memorial Cemetery in Oregon.
Mr. Johnson was born Dec. 9. 1917, in Ontario, Ore., to Emil and Lydia Johnson. He was the youngest of eight children and the last survivor of his family.
He left his parents’ farm in 1934 to join President F.D. Roosevelt’s Civilian Conservation Corps. That program gave him the lifelong occupation as a heavy-equipment operator. This occupation was used in the logging industry until 1957 when he, Vera and their three youngest daughters moved to the Kenai Peninsula to homestead in North Kenai.
Working out of Local No. 302 Operating Engineers, his work took him on many pioneering projects all over Southcentral Alaska. He forged geodetic survey trails across miles of rugged terrain, worked many highline electric projects, including Kenai Lake and Indian Valley. He worked on a lay barge in Cook Inlet when oil and gas exploration and production first began. He also operated a crane on the Monopod platform, as it was the first completed in the inlet.
“Per was known to always have a cheery greeting to all and wore an infectious smile. In 1990, he, along with his two good friends Art Kivi and Floyd Stroh, were instrumental in building the Nikiski Senior Citizens Center,” his family said.
In 1993, the Johnsons moved out of Alaska for the last time. They had made 42 trips over the Alaska Highway. Having gone full circle, they ended up moving back to Rogue River Valley in Oregon, their final resting place.
Mr. Johnson is survived by his six daughters, Bernice Miller of Cascade Locks, Ore., Wanda Hektner and husband, Bill, of Dutton, Mont., Darlene Anderst of Lewiston, Idaho, Donna McGahan and husband, Dale, of Nikiski, Crystal McGahan of Chico, Calif., and Ann Hart and companion, Randy McMahill, of Soldotna; 25 grandchildren; many great-grandchildren; sisters-in-laws; brothers-in-laws; and several nieces and nephews.
Arrangements were made by Conger-Morris Central Point Chapel in Central Point, Ore.
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