Maurice “Bruce” Johnson passed away Jan. 19, 2013. Bruce was born April 19, 1916, the tenth of eleven children from the union of John Joseph (Jack) Johnson, an Irish immigrant, and Lura Beeman of English and Scottish decent from Genesee, Idaho.
He was raised on a dairy farm in Hassan, Wash., (Pine Creek) until age 14 when he and his mother moved to nearby Omak to provide him a high school education. His father died from a farm accident when he was eight years old.
During high school, and several years after graduating, Bruce was employed by the J.C. Penney Co. in Omak and Wenatchee, Wash. He joined the Army Air Corps in 1943 and served proudly in WWII as a 2nd Lieutenant in the Pacific Theater, including Guadalcanal, Philippines, Okinawa, Seoul, Korea; and Officer’s Candidate School in Brisbane, Australia.
Bruce married his high school sweetheart, Dorothy Minnich, Sept. 1, 1940 in the First Presbyterian Church, Omak, Wash. His career in sales took them to Seattle, Wash. (3 years), Soap Lake, Wash. (20 years) and on to Redding, Calif. for 35 years, until joining family in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, in 2001.
Bruce was a prolific salesman. Over the years, he thoroughly enjoyed delving into land development, real estate sales, and sales of cars and mobile homes. If it interested him — he would love a chance to interest you! The epitome of an entrepreneur, he booked wildlife films for his nephew, as well as spent a few years in Nevada mining for gold. With the encouragement of his wife, he also became a Nature’s Sunshine supplement distributer and loved learning about the healing properties of herbs. We think that’s the reason he lived so long!
Although he was a reluctant church goer in his early years, he enjoyed studying religion. He researched the teachings of Uranchia, was an active member of the Church of Religious Science in Redding, Calif., and attended services at the Church of the Nazarene in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho.
Bruce is survived by his wife of 72 years, Dorothy; son, Maurice B. Johnson II (Patricia); daughter, Rebecca Rennebaum (Fritz); grandchildren, Vincent Johnson, Lisa Adlard (David), and Derek Rennebaum; and great-granddaughter, Delaney Adlard.
He and Dorothy resided at Legends Park Assisted Living and Four Seasons Assisted Living during the last few years of Bruce’s life. Thank you to all the staff at these facilities and those from Hospice of North Idaho for the special care you have provided.
The love of his family was so very important to him, and we will miss the twinkle in his eyes and his light Irish step!
Services are pending.
Visit Bruce’s online memorial at www.englishfuneralchapel.com.