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Russell B. Johnson

Obituary for Russell B. Johnson

February 7, 1920 - November 4, 2017
Peabody, Massachusetts | Age 97


PEABODY—Mr. Russell B. Johnson, 97, beloved husband of Joan (Abel) Johnson, died Saturday, November 4, 2017, at Continuing Care at Brooksby Village.

Born in Denver Colorado, he was the son of Ivar and Lillian (Swanson) Johnson. His father immigrated from Sweden and his grandparents Frank and Anna Swanson were also Swedish immigrants. Russ was proud of his Swedish heritage and spoke fondly of summers spent working on his grandfather's farm in Greeley, CO. He grew up in the Swedish Covenant Church in Denver and was a faithful follower of Christ his whole life.

Shortly after the attack on Pearl Harbor, Russ along with his two older brothers enlisted in the armed forces to fight in World War II. Russ served as a P38 Technician in the 339th Fighter Squadron U. S. Air Force in the South Pacific. The Squadron received the Presidential Unit Citation for shooting down Japanese Admiral Yamamoto at Bougainville. Following World War II, Russ graduated from the University of Colorado, Colleges of Engineering and Business.

Joining IBM in 1951, Russ worked for 25 years in marketing and management positions. After retiring from IBM, Russ was a real estate agent for Mason MacDuffie Real Estate in Orinda, CA. For 20 years of his retirement, he and Joan lived in Sun City in Oro Valley, AZ where he participated in many community activities. Russ had many interests, including traveling to new places, gardening and landscaping, carpentry and home improvements, as well as working at his computer. He was always looking for ways to help others in his areas of expertise. He was also a leader in the church for many years, serving as deacon and elder.

Russell is survived by his loving wife of 70 years, Joan (Abel) Johnson, his daughters, Diane Shawver and her husband Robert of East Greenwich, RI, Susan Skillen and her husband John of Newburyport, MA, and Nancy Carroll and her husband James of Lillian, AL, his 12 grandchildren, 8 great grandchildren, his sister, Irene Johnson of Plantation, FL and several nieces, nephews, great nieces and great nephews. He was the brother of the late Leonard Johnson, Leroy Johnson, Louise Wellington and Lloyd Johnson.

ARRANGEMENTS: Relatives and friends are invited to his Memorial Service which will be held in the Chapel at Brooksby Village, 300 Brooksby Village Dr., Peabody on Thursday, November 9th at 11 A.M. Burial in National Cemetery, Bourne, is private. In lieu of flowers, expressions of sympathy may be made in Russell's memory to Brooksby Resident Care Fund, 100 Brooksby Village Drive, Peabody, MA 01960. To share a memory or offer a condolence, please visit

Suggested Memorial Donations

  • In lieu of flowers, expressions of sympathy may be made in Russell's memory to Brooksby Resident Care Fund, 100 Brooksby Village Drive, Peabody, MA 01960.

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Arrangements By

Peterson-O'Donnell Funeral Home

Peterson-O'Donnell Funeral Home
167 Maple Street, Danvers, MA 01923
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