Melvin Rawleigh Johnson / Jan. 30, 1928 – Dec. 27, 2009

Published 10:28am Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Melvin Rawleigh Johnson, 81, of Three Oaks, Mich. died after a brief illness on Sunday afternoon, Dec. 27, 2009, at his home surrounded by his loving family.

Mel was born Jan. 30, 1928 in Niles to Rawleigh and Beatrice (Dennis) Johnson.  He served his country in the Pacific Theater with the U.S. Navy during World War II, and also served in the U.S. Air Force at Andrews Field.

On April 14, 1952 he married Marguerite Ann Calamia, who preceded him in death.  Mel retired in 1980 from the Conrail Railroad, working out of Niles and Elkhart.

On Nov. 18, 1987 Mel married Nancy Rose Johnson Russell in Harbert, Mich. Mel was an avid reader of Louis L’Amour novels; enjoyed traveling, golfing and boating; and spending time at the cabin on Trout Lake in the Upper Peninsula.
He loved the outdoors and being a part of the natural world, watching the animals and birds, fishing, hunting and looking for mushrooms.

Survivors include his wife, Nancy; daughters, Judy Johnson (Larry)  of Galien, Mich., Kathy  Johnson (Joe) of Niles, Karen Lubroski  (Tom) of Three Oaks and Sandy Patton (Greg) of Statesville, N.C.; grandchildren, Kaley, Alex, Jacob, Evan, Maggie, Marissa, Shawn and  Joshua; great-granddaughter, Chelsea; sister, Dawn Bryant of Niles;
Brother, Mark Johnson (Dr. Helene) of Berrien Springs; stepdaughter, Melinda Russell-Haight (Kevin); stepson, Tim Russell  (Kelly); step-grandchildren, Ian, Benjamin, Abbey and Jake; his “adopted sister,” Aunt Rosemary; and many dear family members and friends.
In addition to his parents and Marguerite, Mel was preceded in death by his son, James Melvin Johnson, and eight brothers and sisters.

Celebration of Life services will be held at 11 a.m. Wednesday, Dec. 30, 2009 at Pobocik Funeral Home with the Rev. Ronald Magnuson officiating.

Private family interment will follow at Coulter’s Chapel Cemetery, Howard Township, Mich. Visitation will begin at 10 a.m. Wednesday at the funeral home.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to our local nature conservancy, the Chikaming Open Lands, PO Box 291, Lakeside, MI 49116; or to the American Heart Association, 3940 Peninsular Dr., SE, Ste. 180, Grand Rapids, MI 49546.

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