Our wonderful father, Anton Johnson, died peacefully in his sleep on Jan. 22, 2018 at the age of 94.
He lived a long and contented life, even though he entered this world weighing in at only 4 pounds, bearing an enlarged heart and not expected to live. If you had the good fortune of knowing him, you would understand that his heart remained big.
Dad was born on July 11, 1923 in Thompson Falls and raised on a farm in Trout Creek. He rose early each morning to milk cows before heading to the grade school located across the road. Later he attended and graduated from Noxon High School.
On Jan. 5, 1952, he married Nellie Duffel enjoying 53 years of marriage before her passing. The family moved to Plains in 1955 and purchased a home where he lived out his days.
After high school he worked for the Forest Service fighting fires before joining forces at the lumber mill in Thompson Falls. Every weekday morning for over 30 years, dad got up at 4:30 a.m. to pack his lunch and ride share with other mill workers from Plains. He was a dedicated, hard worker who took great pleasure sharing jokes, funny stories and Coca Colas. He was also known around the mill for pulling a prank or 10.
Dad was an avid fisherman and hunter. He also enjoyed puzzles, people, pinochle and rummy. He was a very gentle, kind, and generous man who was willing to help anyone in need. Values learned on the farm from his Swedish parents. His secrets to a long and happy life were living simply and finding contentment right where he was.
He is survived and loved deeply by three daughters, Dana Johnson of Plains, Shonna Johnson of Yakima, Wash., and Rhanda Johnson of Missoula; five granddaughters, Anna Tanasse of Richland, Wash., Chelsea Johnson of Yakima, Wash., Melissa Honey (Kyle) of Lolo, Sarisa Rodriques (Ronny) of Boston, and Alia Johnson Kovar of Bozeman; and nine great-grandchildren with another on the way.
Memorial services will be held on March 17 in Plains.