Ronald S. (Ron) Johnson, 71

     Ron went to be with the Lord Wednesday, Jan. 25, 2012, at home. He was born Sept. 14, 1940, to Lepha M. and John Silas Johnson in Orofino.
     He was a class of 1958 Clearwater Valley High School graduate. Shortly after high school, Ron joined the U.S. Army. He attended basic training in Fort Bragg, N.C., finishing his military career as a paratrooper.
     Ron lived in Kooskia for most of his life. He was a well-known and respected member of the community.
     In his younger years he was involved in various road construction projects, including the new White Bird Grade. He worked in Alaska for Sealy Logging Co. He owned and operated Johnson's Trading Post on Main Street in Kooskia for several years.
     As an antique dealer, he was an avid mediator between buyers and sellers of all things collectible. Ron was very knowledgeable of the Native Americans from his years of study and the friendships he formed with the local Nez Perce Indians. Ron enjoyed reading, especially about the Native American history. At anytime, anyone could ask Ron about the history of the Natives and he could go on for hours; of their battles, their chiefs and their travels. He knew so much about them, their history and their culture.
     Ron learned many of the Nez Perce ways throughout his life. He learned how to spear salmon at night by the light of a torch from the teachings of his Native friends.
     On Nov. 27, 1997, Ron married his high school sweetheart and the love of his life. Together they traveled extensively throughout Oregon, down to New Mexico and back visiting family, friends and collectors. In September 1995 they opened Purple Feather, still on Main Street of Kooskia.
     Ron enjoyed all sorts of activities with his wife and children including hunting, fishing, fireworks, picnics, going to the casino, cooking and exploring the Idaho hills. He loved to share his knowledge, his stories and was always the best for his jokes.
     Ron is survived by his wife; his four sons; two daughters; ten grandchildren; as well as five great-grandchildren; in-laws; as well as numerous nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by both of his parents; his sister, Daisy Fiscus; and his niece, Marcy Wilson.
     A funeral service will be held at 10 a.m. Wednesday at the Vassar-Rawls Funeral Home in Lewiston. Burial to follow at the Riverside Cemetery in Orofino.

The Lewiston Tribune, January 29, 2012, p. 7C
Transcribed by Jill Leonard Nock

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