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Alice Hart Johnson

Obituary
October 14, 1924 - April 12, 2020
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                Brunswick- Alice Hart Johnson, age 95, of Brunswick, ME, a WWII Veteran and mother of seven, died April 12, 2020, at home.

                Born Alice Louise Hart on October 14, 1924, daughter of Ferol Jane (Jones) Hart and Henry Peter Hart, she was born and raised on her parents’ homestead in rural Briggsdale, Colorado with her parents, two sisters, and a younger brother.  As a young girl, she and her siblings helped their parents on the farm, doing chores and working in the fields.  She liked working in the hayfield the most where she got to work atop the hay wagon, rearranging the hay while keeping a sharp eye out for rattlesnakes that sometimes had been tossed up.  She milked two cows by hand before and after school all through high school.  She lived through the Great Depression, survived the Dust Bowl and grasshopper, tiny green worms, and the locust plagues that made life difficult.

                From the ages of 10 thru 17, she was a member of the 4-H Clubs and learned to sew, cook, bake, can and preserve foods.  She made all her own school dresses.  She delighted in entering her projects each fall in the Weld County Fair (the largest county in Colorado).  There she won countless blue and red ribbons, her most cherished prize being a purple Grand Champion ribbon she won for Judging Foods and Clothing which awarded her a trip to the State Fair.

                She rode a school bus 20 miles to and from Keota School for twelve years, where she was active in sports, particularly basketball and track.  During her Junior and Senior years, her basketball team won the Northern Weld County Conference championship and she was named the highest scorer in the entire conference.  She graduated Valedictorian of Keota High School, Class of 1942.

                She attended Colorado State College of Education in Greeley, Colorado until her education was interrupted by World War II.  She enlisted in the Navy WAVES (Women Accepted for Volunteer Emergency Service) on her 20th birthday in 1944, the minimum age at that time.  "Boot Camp” was at Hunter College, Bronx, NY.  Upon completion of Recruit Training, she attended Yeoman School at Iowa State Teachers College in Cedar Falls, IA.  Her first duty assignment was to the Staff of Commander Western Sea Frontier, Logistics Control section in San Francisco, where the work was classified.  She maintained secret charts, all in Code, showing logistics shipping to the Pacific Theater of Operations during WWII.  One particular highlight was being invited to witness the signing of the United Nations Charter in San Francisco in 1945.  She met Fleet Admiral Earnest J. King.  Other highlights were weekend excursions with a group of WAVES - skiing in Yosemite, visiting author Kathleen Norris’ home, and sailing around SF bay under the Golden Gate Bridge on a tugboat.  She attended a Frank Sinatra concert where teen-agers squealed as loud as they later did for The Beatles or Elvis.  Her biggest thrill was getting to dance with Bing Crosby on her 21st birthday!

                After the war, she was assigned to the Staff of Commander Naval Air Transport Service at Moffett Field, CA and later to the Staff of the Chief of Naval Air Training at Pensacola, FL.  Her final duty station was on the Staff of the Chief of Naval Air Technical Training in Memphis, TN.  In 1948, she reenlisted into the regular U.S. Navy as a Yeoman First Class.  While in Memphis, she met and married PN3 George Robert Johnson of Presque Isle, ME on March 5, 1949.  She received an Honorable Discharge in October 1949, having served over five years.  She was awarded the American Theater Campaign Medal, the World War II Victory Medal, the Good Conduct Medal, and the Honorable Service Lapel Pin.

                She lived throughout the United States during her husband’s navy career.  Besides Memphis, the family lived in San Diego, CA, Newport, RI, Williamsburg, VA, and Brunswick, ME.  After the birth of their seven children, she enrolled in Adult Swimming lessons in Yorktown, VA, took all the courses, and became a Water Safety Instructor with the American Red Cross.  She taught swimming at Queens Lake in Williamsburg, and adult class’s after returning to Brunswick.  She was an enthusiastic swimmer, having logged more than 2,400 miles in the Swim & Stay Fit program initiated by President J. F. Kennedy’s Council of Physical Fitness.

                She joined the work force at the Naval Air Station, Brunswick in 1965.  In 1984 she was awarded NASB’s first Special Meritorious Achievement Award.  She also received the Secretary of the Navy Meritorious Unit Commendation Citation for support of the Naval Aviation Operating Forces in 1987 and again in 1988.  She retired in 1988 with 31 years of Federal Service.

                She has been a member of Good Shepherd Lutheran Church since moving to Brunswick in 1964, where she has served as Assistant Minister, Lector, Usher and Greeter.  She was past President of the Skating Club of Brunswick and has served on its Board of Directors as Sanctions Officer for 30 Years.  She was a member of the United States Figure Skating Association and had passed all USHSA preliminary Figure and Dance tests.  For 46 years, she continued to skate with the club and the Bowdoin Skating School beyond her 85th birthday, participating in many ice shows.

                Alice was co-founder of the Keota School and Friends Reunion group that has met annually since 1985 in Briggsdale, CO.  She was the group’s President for 21 years and returned annually for the reunion and for her family reunion in Ft. Collins, CO every August up until the time of her death.

                She was a member of WAVES National and a Charter Member, Co-founder, and First State Director of Maine Unit 41, WAVES National.  She was a Charter Member of Merrymeeting Toastmasters Club 5750 where she served as past President and Treasurer.  She was a member of Toastmasters International and had achieved the rating of Competent Toastmaster.  She was a Charter Member of Women in Military Service for America (WIMSDA) Memorial Foundation at Arlington National Cemetery.  She was a Plank Owner in the U.S. Navy Memorial, Washington, DC.  Her photo and military history are registered in the Log Room at both Memorials. For many years she served as Deputy Warden of State and Municipal elections in Brunswick.  An avid quilter, she was a Charter Member of The Pine Tree Quilters Guild, and Charter Member and Past President of Lisbon Kray Quilters.

Her late husband, George, was the true love of her life. Both children of the Great Depression, they took great pride in running their efficient and economical household. In 1999, they enjoyed their 50th Wedding Anniversary Celebration given by their children.  In March 2011, they celebrated their 62nd Wedding Anniversary. "This I will remember when the rest of life is through, the finest thing I’ve ever done is simply loving you” (Robert Sexton).

Alice’s hobbies included travel, sewing, rug making, gardening, baking (her cinnamon rolls were legendary), playing the keyboard and organ, and country line dancing.  She is remembered as the #1 fan at her five sons’ football, baseball, hockey, track, and swim teams, and at her two daughters’ field hockey and cheerleading teams.  Most of all, she enjoyed spending time with her family, which includes twelve grandchildren, and five great-grandchildren. She never forgot a birthday and gave each and every one of them her utmost love and attention. She dedicated her life to her family and made time for everyone, making one feel they were the only one in the room. Her enthusiastic spirit will always be remembered, and it will be the one thing that will live on forever in the hearts of every person whose life she touched in one way or another. She was a true inspiration.

She is survived by five of her children.  Son Michael "J” Johnson and wife Debbie Madaris of Telluride, CO; son Mark Robert Johnson and wife Kathryn, and their daughters Brooke Leigh Johnson and Brennan Marie and her daughter Avery all of McLean, VA; son Greg Lindsey Johnson and wife Amy, and their sons Harrison Greg and Griffon Edward Johnson of Durham, ME; daughter Kimberly J. Fien and husband Robert, and their children Colin Michael, Hayley Rose, and Caitlin Jane Fien all of Floyds Knobs, IN; son Kevin Kelly Johnson and wife Tara, and their children Brady Durand, Grant Robert, and Alice Gayle Johnson, all of Maple Valley, WA; and son-in-law Todd Seymour, and his daughter, Rachel, husband Mack Reynells and daughters Ella and Blue of Moretown, VT; and daughter Allison, husband Matt Reilly and sons Oliver and Charlie of Waitsfield, VT, and many cousins, nieces, and nephews.

She is predeceased by her parents; her husband George Robert Johnson (April 9, 2011); her son Cory Ross Johnson (August 26, 1988); her daughter Connie J. Seymour (June 11, 2017); her sister June I. Becker; her sister Winona  E. Speaker; her brother Wayne E. Hart; her mother-in-law and father-in-law Hildred C. and Grover L. Johnson; a brother-in-law and sister-in-law Albert and Doris Johnson; a sister-in-law Ruth Hart and a brother-in-law Meinolph Becker; brother-in-law James Speaker; and brother-in-law Jimmie Blankinship.

Visitation and a service to celebrate her life will be announced at a later date being held at the Good Shepherd Lutheran Church, Upper Maine St., Brunswick with the Reverend Rebecca Wegner officiating.  Arrangements are by Stetson’s Funeral Home.  Burial will be beside her husband and their son in Maine Veteran’s Memorial Cemetery, Augusta, ME, with military honors.

If friends desire, donation may be made in her memory to Brunswick High School Athletics, 116 Maquoit Rd., Brunswick, ME 04011 or to the Memorial Fund, Good Shepherd Lutheran Church, 336 Maine St., Brunswick, ME 04011.