Gary Ralph Johnson was born on July 3rd, 1942 in Virginia, Minnesota. He spent his young adulthood in Hibbing, Minnesota working with his mother Emelyn, father Ralph, and three brothers Kip, Ron, and Terry helping to run the family’s floral business. Gary was a member of the National Ski Patrol in Minnesota for several years, he led extended canoe trips in the summers through the Boundary Waters of the Superior National Forest, and he would venture out to ice fish and hunt wild game with family and friends. He received his Bachelor of Arts in Political Science, History, and International Relations from the University of Minnesota, Minneapolis and later served as a Sergeant with the 415th Medical Professional Service, United States Army Reserve.
Gary enjoyed 78 years of life and passed on January 22, 2021 due to complications from COVID-19. He is survived by his wife Anne Wood Johnson of Princeton, New Jersey, currently residing in Robbinsville, New Jersey. He and his wife met while working for the IBM corporation in Washington, D.C. He is also survived by three children and their families: son Christopher Whitney Johnson and wife Lisa, their two sons Ryan and Lucas of Lutherville, Maryland, daughter Katherine Anne Johnson and husband Chris of Denver, Colorado, and daughter Molly Elizabeth Keating and husband Tim of Collingswood, New Jersey.
As a husband, father, and grandfather, Gary provided for his family in his dedication throughout his career in human resources, by example in his unwavering integrity, as a family chef extraordinaire, and in his faith as a member of Nassau Presbyterian Church. He was known as the man who could fix anything, and had a grin and unmistakable laugh which brought joy to those around him. Gary cherished how the historic family beach house in Beach Haven on Long Beach Island is where family and friends gather to enjoy one another’s company; Gary could usually be found reading a book on the front porch or working on a project around the property. He also was an active member of the Little Egg Harbor Yacht Club in Beach Haven, participating in many social events and as the only male member of the cooking club. Gary and his wife celebrated his Scandinavian heritage and hosted ten foreign exchange students over the years from Norway and Sweden who continue to be extended family members.
After twenty-five years raising their family in a home that Gary and Anne had built nestled in the woods of Princeton, New Jersey, they were fortunate to have found a caring and energetic neighborhood and community in Robbinsville, New Jersey where they have created and shared in many meaningful friendships.
Due to current circumstances related to the pandemic, a small private family memorial service is being held to honor Gary’s life on Saturday, January 30th, 2021 at Nassau Presbyterian Church.
In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be directed to Arm In Arm at https://arminarm.org/. Arm In Arm is an organization that works to prevent hunger and homelessness and was founded by Nassau Presbyterian Church more than thirty years ago.