Well, this week I received a phone call that made me very sad. The call was from the daughter of our oldest Yawgoog Alumni Member, Charles William Johnson, Jr. You all know Charlie – an article and a photo appeared in the Spring 2015 Belltower about Charlie when he turned 100. Wow… to live 100 years… an entire century… and be as happy and vibrant as Charlie Johnson!!
Charlie’s daughter called to tell me that Charlie had passed away – happy and vibrant up until his last day on earth. Charlie was five months shy of being 102. He passed in the place he lived – the Masonic Care Community of New York. Charlie was born on November 4, 1914 and spent his first four decades in Rhode Island. He then lived for almost 60 years in the Buffalo, New York area before deciding to find another adventure. Just three months short of his 100th birthday, with the help of friends, he moved to Utica to live with fellow Masons – a decision that made him happy and active in his final years. Charlie was a man who loved to dine out but insisted on a weekly New England-style Saturday dinner of baked beans and wieners. A Boy Scout to the very end, Charlie was always willing to meet new people and try new experiences. He leaves a world he filled with happy memories.
Charlie’s daughter tells me that he loved his adopted state and rooted for the Bills and Sabres, but he had an abiding affection for New England, which he always referred to as “God’s Country”. He never forgot his Boy Scout and Eagle Scout days, especially summers spent at the camp his own father had pioneered, Camp Yawgoog in Rockville, RI. He returned to the region often to visit family and friends.
Well, Charlie’s in the big ‘Campground in the Sky’ now along with his many Scouting friends – Chief Williams, Gus Anthony, Bill Sandford and hundreds more. I will miss our phone calls, Charlie, and I will think of you often… as I do of Gus and Bill and hundreds more. Fly high with the eagles Charlie!
Love from your girlfriend, Judy