Charles E. “Chuck” Johnson, of Munising and formerly of St. Johns and Haslett, MI, passed peacefully with his loved ones by his side, following a battle with Covid-19. He was born on August 30, 1942 in Marquette, Michigan to the late Edward and Alice (Genore) Johnson. Chuck’s family moved to Munising when he was young and he graduated from Wm. G. Mather High School in 1960. After having graduated, he worked for two years on the ore boats traversing the Great Lakes. In 1965, Chuck enlisted in the US Army and served in the Vietnam War. He was stationed at CuChi located between Saigon and the Cambodian border. He served with the US Army Cavalry Scouts (Armor Reconnaissance Specialist) and was awarded Vietnam Service Medal, Vietnam Campaign Medal, National Defense Service Medal, and Driver and Mechanic Badge W/Bar. Chuck was honorably discharged in 1967 as an SP4 (T).
Prior to going overseas, Chuck, an avid Lions fan, made a bet with Carol, an avid Packers fan, stating if the Lions beat the Packers she would have to go on a date with him when he returned. The Lions won and so did Carol. They were married on September 2, 1967 and together they raised their three children, whom he adored. They moved to East Lansing where Chuck earned an Associate’s degree in Turf Management from Michigan State University. Chuck began his career delivering technical support to golf courses and later worked in sales providing fertilizer and chemicals to dealers in Michigan, Indiana and Ohio. He worked for US Steel, Potash Corporation of Saskatchewan, Northern Star Minerals, and Wilburt Ellis Corp., the latter from which he retired in 2008 after having made many life-long friends. When both Chuck and Carol retired, they moved back to the U.P., which was always Chuck’s dream, and they made their cabin their home on 16 Mile Lake. Abraham Lincoln once said, “I like to see a man proud of the place he lives. I like to see a man live so that his place will be proud of him.” This is how Chuck Johnson, age 78, who entered eternal life on Sunday, February 14, 2021, will be remembered. The only things Chuck cherished more than his country were his savior Jesus Christ, and his treasured and beloved family. Chuck was kind, respectful, helpful, and welcoming to everyone he met. Chuck did have one other love – golf. He especially loved the competition and played in many golf tournaments and he ultimately made two holes in one! He was a member of Pictured Rocks Golf Club where he had a good time playing in league with his partner and long-time friend, Duane Lincoln. Chuck also volunteered his time with Work Bees that beautified the golf course for all to enjoy. He was an avid MSU basketball game and never missed a game. He snowmobiled in the winter and spent part of the winter in Panama City Beach, Florida with a lot of great people. Summers were spent on the lake with family and friends, giving pontoon rides and watching the kids and grandchildren jet ski. Chuck was a member of Sion Lutheran Church and he was a proud member of the Ikkala Brothers VFW Post 9714. Chuck was instrumental in creating the Veteran’s Memorial at Pine Grove Cemetery in Chatham. He and his fellow VFW post members were able to add 8 flags to represent each of the armed forces, a kneeling soldier and they planted flowers and kept up the grounds by mowing and watering. Chuck was an entertainer. He could tell a good story; it didn’t matter how many times he told it; it was like the first. If he wasn’t on the lake or on the golf course, he could be found in his “Man Cave” where Chuck always had his friend’s favorite drinks and sweets. He made anyone who entered feel welcome. Chuck was a gentleman and a gentle man. He had a presence which exuded calm and peace.
He will be sadly missed by his wife of fifty-three years – Carol Sue Johnson of Munising; his children – Aaron (Nikki) Johnson of East Grand Rapids, Courtney (Jason) Alman of Lowell, and Ross (Nicky) Johnson of Grand Rapids; his grandchildren – Finn, Lucy, Claire, Brynn, Grady, and Lauren; sister – Sandy Barker of Kingsford; brothers and sister-in-law – Don Maki of Eben, Jeanne Maki of Prince Edward Island, and Bob Maki of Eben; and numerous nieces and nephews. Chuck is now reunited with his parents, mother-in-law Gussie Maki-Brennen, and brother-in-law Michael Barker.
A memorial service and military honors will be tentatively held in late August 2021 due to the virus. Carol would like to continue beautifying the cemetery in Chuck’s memory. You can send your donation to: Chuck Johnson Memorial at Peoples State Bank, 100 E. Superior St., P.O. Box 158, Munising, MI 49862.
Chuck Johnson Memorial - c/o People State Bank
P.O. Box 158, Munising MI 49862