Howard Ray Johnson of Palmer Lake passed away July 6, from injuries sustained in a house fire.
Howard was born July 15, 1951, to Richard and Barbara Johnson in Anaconda, Montana. He spent his youth in Libby where he loved working and playing outdoors. Following high school, he spent seven years in the U.S. Army stationed in Alaska, where he served as a sharpshooter and medic. After his service, Howard returned to Libby where he worked as a logger and heavy equipment operator at the Libby Dam.
He married Diane (Surman) in Bonners Ferry in 1977. Together they had three daughters and a son. As a young family, money was always tight, but they enjoyed spending time camping in the Montana wilderness.
In the 1980s, the family moved to Auburn where Howard attended computer technician school. Failing health caused him to retire early. They moved to the Key Peninsula in the early 1990s.
Howard and Diane lived their Christian faith by serving those less fortunate in the community, including running M&M Ministry at Lakebay Community Church, leading and participating in recovery groups, sharing their faith, and praying for anybody who asked. Howard loved being outdoors, hunting and fishing, and working on his property.
Howard also enjoyed traveling to Montana to visit friends and family there. In his later years, he stayed close to home. Following Diane’s passing June 10, 2019, his daughter Barb moved in to support him.
Howard was proceeded in death by his wife Diane; his father Richard; brothers Duain, Ted (Sue), and David; and his son Thomas Richard (Tara). He is survived by his mother Barbara Knudson; sister Ramona (Jim) Hutchinson and brother Jerry (Diana); daughters Barbara Chase, Martha (Bob) Bauer and Dalene (Kevin) Johnson; eight grandchildren and 13 great-grandchildren.
Howard and Diane were an important part of their community, and they will be missed. Peace to their memory.
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