- 94 years old
- Date of birth: Jun 29, 1921
- Place of birth:
Chicago, Illinois, United States
- Date of passing: Aug 7, 2015
- Place of passing:
Naples, Florida, United States
William Richard Johnson died on Friday, August 7, 2015 at Juniper Village in Naples, Florida. He was 94.
Bill was born on June 29, 1921 in Chicago, Illinois. He developed a passion for science and engineering early in life, and at age 16 he won a scholarship to attend MIT. After obtaining his degree in Metallurgy in 1942, he worked in various research, engineering and sales positions. He was proud of the patents he received along the way (patent numbers 3171641, 3259383, and many others). In 1948 he married Jean Louise Austin, a childhood Chicago friend. He and Jean later moved to Bristol Connecticut, where they raised three children. In 1966 he founded the porous powder metal company NewMet Products, which he sold in 1987. From that time on he and Jean split their time between Bristol and Naples Florida, where they eventually moved permanently in 2010.
Bill was always active. He played tennis several times a week, travelled extensively with Jean throughout the world, trekked with Tenzing Norgay in the Himalayas, and was always eager to go on a hike with his children and grandchildren. His home in Bristol is remembered fondly as Camp Grandma and Grandpa, and was the source of many happy memories for all. He and Jean always threw a legendary holiday party in celebration of friends, family and Jean's December 24th birthday. For many years, Bill and sister Lynne jointly hosted Memorial Day family reunions that are fondly remembered by all.
During his later years Bill wrote several short essays about his life, which offer a window into his formative years.
He is survived by his sister Lynne Hibbs of Dayton Ohio, his son Neil Johnson of Thomaston Connecticut, his daughter Kristine Chirlin of Rockville Maryland, his son Carl Johnson of Newton Massachusetts, eight grandchildren and six great grandchildren.
In order to accommodate several grandchildren who are currently overseas, a memorial service for Bill and Jean will be deferred until July 23, 2016 in Warren, Vermont. Any and all of Bill and Jean's friends and family are welcome to attend this celebration of their life and ash scattering ceremony. Please contact Carl Johnson for details.
Bill was a lifelong supporter of technical education, and established a scholarship fund with the Main Street Community Foundation in Bristol Connecticut. Memorial donations may be made in his name to The Technical Education Fund (listed under Donor Advised Funds).
"I thought of you several times on your birthday. We never forgot to talk to each other on our respective birthdays. I hope you got my birthday wishes via our telepathic communication path this year. All my love, Bill."
"Here's to my big brother, Bill! Bon Voyage! We shared so much together from our childhood teasing years to the major mutual friendship of our adult years. Bill and I will miss greatly the wise witty gentleman we always looked up to and admired."
"We're sorry for you loss, our thoughts are with you in these difficult times.
Love, Danny & Mireille Wets-Labhaye (Belgium)"
"Kristi and family, so sad to read of your fathers passing. Sounds like he was an amazing man with a very full life. May those warm memories be a comfort to all of you.
"Missing both Bill and Jean now. What great good friends they have been to me for more than 40 years. A huge loss for all us "Johnsons," whatever our last names. So many memories. I remember him convincing Carl as a boy that he just carried around loose diamonds in his pocket."
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