NEGAUNEE – David A. “DAJ” Johnson, 74, of Negaunee, passed away on Friday, Sept. 20, 2013, at Marquette General Hospital where he had been admitted one day earlier.
David was born Aug. 16, 1939, in Champion, son of the late Glenn A. and Martha E. (Anderson) Johnson. He was raised in Champion and was a graduate of Champion High School, class of 1957. He enlisted in the United States Navy following graduation, and served with the Pacific Fleet aboard the USS Hornet CVA-12, including as an aviation courier with top secret clearance. He achieved the top rank of petty officer and had received the Good Conduct Medal during his active service time. David was honorably discharged in 1963 after serving an additional three years with the United States Navy Reserve.
It was during this time he was working as a construction foreman for the Gundlach Construction Co. and was courting his wife-to-be Joanne C. Bjorne, with whom he celebrated 50 years of marriage on Feb. 16, 2013.
David started a new career in data processing in 1965, working up to operations supervisor of data processing at Northern Michigan University’s computer center, retiring after 33 years of service. While at Northern he was an adjunct instructor in computer language and became the chief steward for UAW Local 2178. While with the UAW he was instrumental in negotiating for free tuition for employee’s dependents at NMU.
Following retirement, DAJ began to drive bus for Marq-Tran, a job he truly loved and continued until his death. He especially loved to transport his favorite ladies to their shopping and social activities and was a member of AFSCME, Local 3392. David also enjoyed serving on the Negaunee Township Board of Review.
Davey will be remembered as an outdoorsman. In his younger years he enjoyed fishing, but more recently had a love for sailing, along with tinkering with his boats. Although he enjoyed hunting, in recent years it was more just to see the wildlife and take a picture of them in his mind, rather than shoot them. Davey also had a love for flying, and a love for music. He played the tenor sax in high school and also played the guitar, which he introduced to all of his children.
Survivors include his wife, Joanne C. Johnson of Negaunee; a daughter, Karyn Johnson of Negaunee; two sons, Keith Johnson of Gwinn and Jeff (Katie) Johnson of Attleboro, Mass.; a sister, Barbara Alquist of Kingsford; two brothers, Glenn Johnson of Waterford, Wis., and Greg (Scarlett) Johnson of Ishpeming; six grandchildren, David McDeid, Elizabeth Johnson, Timmy Johnson, Jessamyn Orr-Obeshaw, Akiryanna Johnson and Krissalyn Johnson; along with several sisters-in-law, brothers-in-law, and nieces and nephews.
He was preceded in death by his parents; his youngest brother, Peter Johnson; an infant sister; and his best canine friend, Mya.
The family will greet relatives and friends from 4:30 p.m. to 6 p.m. on Wednesday, Sept. 25, at the Bjork & Zhulkie Funeral Home in Ishpeming.
A service of remembrance will follow Wednesday at 6 p.m. at the funeral home.
The Bjork & Zhulkie Funeral Home of Ishpeming is in charge of arrangements.