June 20, 1948—June 18, 2020
Gary was born to Willis “Vernon” Johnson and Marjorie K. (Travis) Johnson, on June 20, 1948, in Longview, Washington. The Johnson family’s livelihood thrived on the timber industry. Gary attended Robert A. Long High School in Longview, graduating in 1966 with his highschool sweetheart, Judy A. (Williams) Johnson. Gary competed on R.A. Long football and track teams, and played baseball at Lower Columbia College in Longview. Later Gary graduated from Oregon State University in 1972, majoring in forest management.
Gary worked for Burlington Northern’s Timber and Western Lands Department and Plum Creek Timber Company in Enumclaw, WA. His duties included working on road projects, securing timber sales and land access, property maintenance, community relations, and managing logging operations. As Puget Sound Unit Manager, he fostered Plum Creek’s relationships with many private and public land holders. By 1998, Gary’s area of responsibility included the Columbia and Yakima units, almost 330,000 acres of company land.
Gary retired from Plum Creek in 2003. He had met up frequently with his co-workers, sharing stories of their many “capers,” and checking out good lunch spots. Recently they wrote their professional memoirs. Gary’s “Ramblings of a Grounder Pounder” presents his career in the form of anecdotes, written just how he would tell them with the guys.
Gary and Judy were married in Longview on September 2nd, 1972. Their daughter Leslie was born in Enumclaw, in November, 1976. Living up in Enumclaw, Gary routinely chauffeured Judy and Leslie up and down I-5 to see relatives of both the Johnson and Williams families in Longview, and owned a 40-acre tree farm in Toledo with his dad Vernon.
Gary was preceded in death by his mother Marjorie K. (Travis) Johnson and sister Kathleen D. Johnson. Gary is survived by his wife Judy of 47 years (Enumclaw), daughter Leslie (Enumclaw), father Willis “Vernon” Johnson (Longview), and brother Larry Johnson (Longview), and numerous nephews, nieces, cousins, and their descendants. Donations in memory of Gary can be made to the Bunker Hill Cemetery (Longview, WA).
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