It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of Ralph Elvin Johnson on July 19, 2014 with his loving family by his side. He was born in Nelson, BC on February 4, 1922 to Elvin and Marjorie Johnson.
After completing high school, Ralph joined the U.S. Navy. On July 28, 1942, he headed to San Diego for specialized training for Machinist and Refrigeration. During the next two years, Ralph was stationed on the John Penn and was involved in many campaigns; Iwo Jima, Guam, Bougainville, Solomon Islands and Guadalcanal, where on August 13, 1943, his ship was torpedoed and sank. He was 1 of 123 survivors out of a crew of 460. On December 25, 1945, Ralph received an honourable discharge and many commendations. He then attended the University of Idaho in Farragut, Idaho where he completed his mechanical engineering. Ralph then went to work for The Boeing Company in Seattle where he worked in developing the B52 Bomber, KC135 re-fueling aircraft and the minuteman missiles.
On April 29, 1953, Ralph married Peggy Smith, with whom he spent the next 61 years. In 1965, Ralph and the family had the need to return to the Kootenays and Ralph obtained a position with Cominco (Teck). He worked on many projects, one of which was the pilot project and eventually building the new zinc electrolytic plant in Trail.
Ralph loved to golf, travel, hunt, fish, fly planes but most of all, spending time with family and friends.
Ralph was predeceased by his parents Elvin and Marjorie, his son Gregory and his older sister Dorothy. He is survived by his wife Peggy, sons Graeme and David (Joann) as well as nieces and nephews.
A Celebration of Life will be held on Friday, September 12, 2014 at 11:00 am at the St. Andrew’s Anglican Church Iona Hall in Trail. Bill Clark of Alternatives Funeral and Cremation Services™ has been entrusted with arrangements.
As an expression of sympathy, donations in Ralph’s name may be made to the CNIB Service Dog Fund at #101-1456 St. Paul Street, Kelowna, BC, V1Y 2E6 or online at www.cnib.ca
You are invited to leave a personal message of condolence at the family’s online register at www.myalternatives.ca