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July 10, 1923-July 9, 2010

Albert Raiford Johnson, 86, of Mount Olive, formerly of Chattanooga, Tenn., passed away Friday, July 9, 2010, at Wayne Memorial Hospital after a brief illness. He was surrounded by his immediate family.

Mr. Johnson was born July 10, 1923, in Denver, Colo., the son of the late William Fischer Johnson and Susie Wooten Johnson. He grew up in Macon, Ga. After spending a year at the Georgia Institute of Technology, he enrolled in the Army Air Corps. He was trained as a co-pilot and was a 2nd lieutenant in the 395th Bomb Group of the 8th Air Force. His B-17, "Shoo Shoo Baby," was shot down on April 11, 1944, over Germany. Mr. Johnson spent eight months as a prisoner of war in Stalag Luft 1 in northern Germany. He was freed by Russian soldiers and returned home to finish his degree in industrial engineering at Georgia Tech. He married the former Beth Quillian at the chapel of Wesleyan College in Macon, Ga., on June 20, 1948.

Mr. Johnson worked as a business analyst in textile fibers for the DuPont Company, first at the Chattanooga, Tenn. plant, then at their headquarters in Wilmington, Del. He lived in Wilmington until 1985, when he and his wife retired to Chattanooga, Tenn. Most recently, he and his wife had moved to Mount Olive to be near their daughter and son-in-law.

Mr. Johnson was past commander of the Chattanooga Chapter of American Ex-Prisoners of War. He spent many years leading this group and had a genuine commitment to his fellow ex-POWs and their wives and widows.

Mr. Johnson is survived by his wife of 62 years, Beth Quillian Johnson. He is also survived by his two children, Mary Johnson Kerstetter (Philip) of Mount Olive, and William Wooten Johnson (Carolyn) of Warrenton, Va. He leaves behind four grandchildren, David W. Kerstetter (Kathy) of Cooper City, Fla.; Joanne K. Rooney of Pittsburgh, Pa.; Taylor C. Johnson and William J. Johnson of Warrenton, Va. Also surviving are four great-grandchildren, Malcolm and Duncan Rooney of Pittsburgh, Pa., and Matilda and Lane Kerstetter of Cooper City, Fla. Also surviving are many nieces and nephews and their children.

Mr. Johnson was preceded in death by his three brothers, John Lafayette Johnson, Richard Wooten Johnson, and David Doyle Johnson; and his sister, Mary McLester Johnson Hall. Also preceding him were his mother-in-law, Mary Porter Quillian; and his sister-in-law Dr. Joe Anne Quillian, both of Chattanooga, Tenn.

Services will be held on Friday, July 16, 2010, at 12:30 p.m. at the National Cemetery in Chattanooga, Tenn. Memorials may be made to the Albert R. Johnson Memorial Fund at Mount Olive College, c/o Mount Olive College, Office of Institutional Advancement, 634 Henderson Street, Mount Olive, N.C. 28365.

Arrangements are by the East Chapel of Chattanooga Funeral Home, Crematory and Florist. Share your thoughts and memories at www.mem.com.


Published in Obituaries on July 11, 2010 11:13 AM