Arthur Eric Johnson (son of Swedish Immigrants Lars Johnson and Anna Kristina Firsberg) was the 6th of 7 Children. He was born in Tisdale Saskatchewan and moved to Carrot River when he was 15 years old. He helped log the forest, pull stumps, and cultivate soil so the family could acquire homestead status.
At 17, he followed his brother Fred to the West Coast where he tried logging in Youbou. He eventually found employment with McMillan Blodel and as a loyal employee, worked more than 40 years in the mill, on log booms eventually operating a tug boat as a patrol boat captain on the Fraser River .
Art enlisted with the Canadian Army 12th Canadian Scottish Regiment 1 June 1944 and served until 7 March 1947. He served as a stretcher bearer in the United Kingdom, Continental Europe, and fought in Holland. While rescuing a fellow soldier, he was wounded during the battle of Wagenborgen, Holland.
Art was introduced to the love of his life, Frances Ryan by his brother Fred. They were married in April 1948 and settled in Vancouver on Argyle street, promptly starting a family. In 1951, they moved to a plot of bush which they turned into a small working hobby farm just outside of White Rock where they lived most of their lives (43 years) and raised seven children of their own and two foster children. In 1994 they retired to a lovely farm in Langley where they spent the next 20 plus years together. Art became a widower in 2014 when his wife of more than 65 years, Frances Johnson, passed away.
Dad enjoyed working around the farm. He was always building or fixing something. He could often be found on a sunny spring weekend happily burning brush in the back fields of the farm. He seemed to find great joy in being around his family and being a part of large family gatherings. Art was able to live in the moment and find happiness in small things, reminding us all to be grateful for what we have. Even into his 90’s he exuded a sense of optimism and grace, always grateful for the moment and for the people around him. He also had a gift for “reading” people and had a way of making others feel comfortable in his presence.
We were thankful to watch him explore his artistic side encouraged by the amazing staff at Broadmead Lodge where he painted numerous aprons, water colours and pencil crayon drawings for all of us. Art continued to grow as an individual through this final chapter of life with the amazing support from all the staff at the lodge.
Art very much enjoyed and looked forward to trips back to see the farm and visit old friends, spend time connecting with family and enjoying his farm. There are many noteworthy stories about Art’s life, but one of our favorite recent memories were of our family trips to the Beacon hill park petting zoo and then the Beacon Hill drive for a strawberry milkshake each spring. Art particularly loved the goats and would recall these outings fondly. We plan to carry on our annual spring tradition to Beacon Hill in memory of Dad/Grandpa and we will be sure to order a strawberry milkshake in his honor.
Art’s family would like to extend a heartfelt thanks to the staff and volunteers at Broadmead Lodge where all of us were greeted with friendship, compassion, and respect. His family rested easily with the knowledge that he was always well cared for and loved by the staff at the lodge, who in many ways became an extension of his own family. He was obviously smitten with those who worked closely with him.
Instead of flowers, the family wishes donations to be made in Art Johnson’s name at www.broadmeadcare.com