Michael Lynn Johnson: 
June 11, 1945-Aug. 14, 2011
by Watch Staff
Sep 22, 2011 | 4057 views | 0 0 comments | 18 18 recommendations | email to a friend | print
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<B>SKI ADVENTURE</B> – Michael and Buzz Johnson, in the early summer of 1992, on the high narrow ridge above Ophir before dropping into the first basin en route to skiing Bear Creek. (Courtesy photo)
SAN MIGUEL COUNTY – Michael Lynn Johnson, who was born in the Coronado Naval Hospital, on Coronado Island near San Diego, Calif., on June 11, 1945, died on Aug. 14, 2011, from post-operative complications following a diagnosis of a rare lung disease, at St. Mary’s Hospital in Grand Junction.
Johnson, who grew up near Cleveland, Oh., was introduced to the Colorado area while he was stationed at Fort Carson, after enlisting in the U.S. Army; he went on to graduate at the top of his class in Officer Candidate School in 1968.

He left the military in the early 1970s, but remained in Colorado, having fallen in love with the Rocky Mountains.
An avid skier and a self-proclaimed Seventh Day Adventurist, he was preceded in death by the 1992 death of his 12-year-old son, Forest Taylor “Buzz the Ski” Johnson, with whom he shared a passion for skiing and for living life to the fullest. 

Michael Johnson's parents, Ruth (Mullen) Johnson and Carl Johnson, of Rocky River, Oh., world travelers who were also passionate about living life to the fullest, preceded him in death, as well.

Johnson is survived by his beloved wife and life partner, Annie, whom he married on New Year's Eve in 1989. She survives him, in Norwood, where they moved from Ophir, in 2004.
At the time of his death, Johnson was in the midst of building a much-anticipated home in Nucla, where the couple had planned to retire. 
Michael Johnson is survived by two daughters, Lauren Johnson Keller and Reila Bates Armstrong, and by three wonderful grandsons, Jayvin Krzych, 13; Chance Leuphold, 11 and Sigur Keller, 18 months; and by his two sons-in-law, Geoff Keller and Simon Krzych, who were his great friends.

He leaves behind his sister, Holly (Johnson) Wheelan, of Carmel, N.Y., and brother, Taylor Johnson, of Hyatsville, Md.; his cousin, Dave Foley; a brother-in-law, Bill Wheelan, and niece, Carolyn (Wheelan) Gerasci, her husband, Joe, and three beloved nephews.
Michael (Mike) AKA MOJO Johnson leaves behind many cousins, aunts, uncles and numerous lifelong friends. He made friends easily, everywhere he went, and it was impossible not to love him.
A celebration of Michael Johnson's life will take place in Norwood, at Two Candles, on Saturday, Oct. 22, at 6 p.m., complete with potluck and an open stage; family and friends are encouraged to share stories and experiences about Michael and celebrate the life that he lived to the fullest.

Perhaps his cousin Judy Foley said it best: “Michael was an amazing person. He left us a huge hole in our lives, and a wealth of memories, stories and so much laughter. He really could make us all laugh harder than we ever have, with his straight-faced delivery of outrageous adventures.”
The family asks anyone wishing to make donations in Michael's memory contact the One to One Mentoring Program, the San Miguel County Women’s Resource Program or Habitat for Humanity.

For more information, please contact Annie Johnson, P.O. Box 1162, Norwood, CO, 81423, or call 970/369-5445.
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