Russell Dean Johnson was born November 30, 1919, in Sugar Grove, N.C. to George W. and Julia Isaac Johnson, the youngest of six boys and four girls. He was raised in Virginia, migrating to Medford, Ore. with his parents and one brother and family in 1939 to join his other brothers and families.
Russ met and married Renamae Taylor in Medford, August 4, 1940. In Oregon he was employed in the orchard business for a few years, then worked on Shasta Dam and Camp White Domiciliary until his enlistment in the U.S. Naval Armed Guard for three years, serving on the the U.S.S. Pulpit Rock and the Seven Pines. On discharge he was employed at Pacific Fruit and Produce (Snoboy) for 30 years, retiring in November 1981. They resided in Medford with a summer cabin on French Gulch, later Applegate Lake until 1981. Upon retirement, they became travelers (snowbirds) in all of 49 states and all of Canada. He belonged to Thousand Trails Camping Assoc. and National Horseshoe Pitchers Assoc., playing in tournaments in all states, Alaska and Canada and spent a few months on the Applegate.
They sold their home in Medford and the lake property to travel by RV full time. They bought a home at Ash Creek Park in Independence, Ore. in 1993. Russ continued to pitch horseshoes until health forced him to retire from that in 2000. In 2012, they moved to Heron Point in Monmouth, Ore. where his wife makes her home.
He is survived by three children, Roger (Marsha) Johnson, of West Linn, Ore., Rita (Bill) O'Neil, of Winchester, Ore., and Royal (Glee) Johnson, of Monmouth, Ore.; six grandchildren; eight great-grandchildren; and niece, Judy Johnson Bowman, who they raised. He was preceded in death by his parents; five brothers; four sisters; and two grandsons.
Russ and Renamae celebrated their 72nd wedding anniversary August 4, 2012. Russ was a life member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars #1833 in Medford for 30 years, active in all past State and National work as well as Scouts, church and school affairs. Interment will follow at the Hillcrest Memorial Park in Jackson County at a later date.