David R. “Dick” Johnson, 90, of Spring Lake, passed away on Sunday, Feb. 28, 2016, at Hancock Regional Hospital Hospice. He was born on Nov. 28, 1925, in Richmond, Ind, as the son of Ray and Mary Agnes (Hughes) Johnson.
He graduated from Warren Central High School in 1944. Mr. Johnson received his Bachelor’s in Education and Business from Indiana Central, now University of Indianapolis and later earned his Master’s in Education from Indiana University. Dick married Paula Sue (Norris) Johnson on June 1, 1956 at Holy Spirit in Indianapolis.
During World War II, Dick served in the Army as a member of the 32nd “Red Arrow” Infantry Division during the Battle of Luzon. As part of the Pacific Theatre in the Philippine Campaign he underwent over 190 days of fierce combat, as part of a reconnaissance platoon, during the liberation of Sante Fe on the Villa Verde Trail. Later Dick served as part of the American Occupation Forces in Japan landing at Sasebo. Dick’s was one of the first American units to occupy Hiroshima shortly after the atomic bombings ending the war. In 1948, Dick joined the Naval Reserve and took part in the American evacuation of the United Nations from Haifa, Palestine during the Arab-Israeli War. Dick served on board the U.S.S. Shangri-La and U.S.S. Antietem, during the Korean War.
He was a coach and teacher at Freetown High School. He moved to Hillsboro High School, where he served as a principal, coach, and teacher. While in Hillsboro he met his loving wife of 60 years. His family moved to Indianapolis where he was a teacher and coach at Harry E. Wood High School until its closing. He was moved to John Marshall High School until its closing finally retiring from Indianapolis Public Schools while a teacher at Arlington High School in 1995. Dick was a member of American Legion Post #119, Disabled American Veterans, Indiana State Teachers Association and Heritage Association. Mr. Johnson was a member of Holy Spirit Catholic Church.
Dick is survived by his wife, Paula Johnson of Greenfield; children, Terry Johnson of Minneapolis, Minn., David (Diana) Johnson of Greenfield, Tammy (Jeff) Gregg of Ohio and Daniel (Jenny) Johnson of Greenfield; brother, Don Johnson of Indianapolis; 12 grandchildren; 10 great- grandchildren and several nieces and nephews.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Ray and Mary Agnes (Hughes) Johnson; son, Thomas Johnson; daughter, Diana Johnson and brothers, Fred and Morris Johnson.
Visitation will be held from 5- 7 p.m. on Wednesday, March 2, 2016, with a rosary at 7 p.m. with Father Riedman at Erlewein Mortuary & Crematory, 1484 W. US Hwy. 40, Greenfield, IN 46140. A Mass of Christian burial will be held 10 a.m on Thursday, March 3, 2016, at St. Michael Catholic Church, 519 Jefferson Blvd., Greenfield, IN 46140. Father Aaron M. Jenkins will be officiating. Burial will follow at Calvary Cemetery with full military rites.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be sent directly to American Legion Post 119, 278 Center St., Greenfield, IN 46140, D.A.V., P.O. Box 14301, Cincinnati, OH 45250, St. Michael Catholic School, 515 Jefferson Blvd, Greenfield, IN 46140 or Holy Spirit Church, 7243 E 10th St., Indianapolis, IN 46219. Envelopes will be available at the mortuary.