William Harold ‘Bill’ Johnson
1931 — 2013
BILLINGS, MONTANA — William Harold “Bill” Johnson, 82, passed away Sunday, March 17, 2013, at his home.
He was the son of John and Hilja Johnson, Finnish immigrants who made a living farming outside of Columbus. He grew up in the White Bird community and graduated from Columbus High School in 1948. He worked as a carpenter and a contractor in addition to farming on White Bird. He moved to Billings in 2011.
He is survived by one daughter, Vicki Hyatt, and her husband, Richard, of Waynesville; one son, Mike Johnson and his wife Deborah, of Spokane, Washington; and five grandchildren, Cole and Shay Hyatt and Laurel, Cable and Erin Johnson.
He was preceded in death by his wife, Marlene Johnson; son, Bill Johnson Jr. and sister, Sylvia Marshall.
Bill took great pride in his heritage. He spoke only Finnish until he entered the first grade, but never learned to read the language until he taught himself to do so as an adult.
He was an avid bridge player and becoming a life master was a high point in his life.
Bill had a vast knowledge of history and politics, which he loved to share with friends and neighbors.
There will be a memorial service at 2 p.m., Saturday, March 23, at the White Bird School. A pot luck will follow.
Smith Funeral Chapel, Laurel, Montana, handled arrangements.