James K Johnson

February 26, 1926 ~ October 31, 2019 (age 93)


James Kavanagh Johnson, 93, of (Spokane, WA), passed away on 10/31/2019 in Spokane, WA.

Jim was born in Conrad, MT to Marjorie K Johnson and James W Johnson on Feb 26th, 1926.  He attended school in Shelby, MT, where he set records in track events, even holding the Montana state 100 yard dash record of 9.8 seconds for over 20 years!!  It wasn’t until later in life he admitted that was wind aided, but we’ll let that pass!!  He was also a terror as running back in football for those Shelby Coyotes and again while on the boot camp team at Farragut. He was a veteran of WW2 and served in the Navy in the Pacific aboard the ammunition ship USS Pyro [Go figure on that name!!!].   After his discharge, as a 21 year old freshman, he enrolled and eventually graduated from Washington State College.  While there, he ran track, was active in the Beta Theta Pi fraternity, and developed a lifelong love for those Cougs!! Soon he met and dated a lovely Alpha Chi named Jane Taylor and they were married in August 1949 in Longview WA. Starting in 1951 they built a family of 4 children, Jim, Bruce, Susan, and Bill. His early career was in several businesses, but he settled in as owner of Clearwater Lumber Company from 1959 until selling the much larger and diverse company in 1973.  After that he stayed close to the industry via other ventures with his sons.  He was involved in many timber associated organizations until well after he retired.

JK met and married Bonnie in 1980, with whom he spent the rest of his life traveling the world, seeking the perfect anchorage, watching the children become adults, and loving each other.

Jim was a man of strong opinion, deep faith, and love of country.  He was instrumental in the early organization and leadership of Plymouth Congregational Church, and was a member until his passing.  Jim’s memory was amazing, especially details of the Cougar football teams, even back to the 1950’s.  His love of the ocean, and catching the fish beneath the waves, was a lifelong pursuit.  He and Bonnie spent many years on their boats, cruising the San Juan Islands, British Columbia, and Alaska. Their passion for Hawaii was spent vacationing there for 2 months every winter. He was fortunate to carry on the tradition of summers at the family cabin on Lake McDonald in Glacier National Park, where memories were created in back country hikes, water skiing and swimming in the lake, along with cocktails and dinner on the deck with the Rocky Mountains as a backdrop. A lifetime member of the Spokane Country Club, he passed on his love of golf to his children, although not necessarily the talent.


JKJ was preceded in death by his parents, James W and Marjorie, his beloved sister Nancy, and his oldest son and namesake, James T. 

Jim is survived by the love of his life and wife of almost 40 years, Bonnie, his sons Bruce [Noreen] and Bill [Kerry], and his daughter Susan Van Hoose [Rick].  Also, he is survived by 4 outstanding step children Linda West [Terry], Dr Randy Fowler [Keri], Rick Fowler [Cindy], and Carol Virkelyst [Bob].  Between the 2 melded families there are 14 grandchildren and 15-1/2 great grandchildren.

Jim’s family wishes to extend our sincere thanks to over 3 years of wonderful care from Crystal Rose Adult Family Home, and Kindred Hospice in his final days.  There aren’t words strong enough to express our gratitude to all these caring folks.

Funeral services will be held Saturday, November 9, 2019 at 1:30 at Plymouth Congregational Church, 1502 W 8th Ave, Spokane.   A private family burial will precede the service at Greenwood Memorial Terrace. There will be a reception at The Spokane Club immediately following the service. Arrangements are by Hennessey Funeral Home.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be given to Kindred Hospice of Spokane or a charity of your choice.

To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of James K Johnson, please visit our floral store.


November 9, 2019

1:30 AM to 7:00 PM
Plymouth Congregational Church (Spokane, Greenwood Memorial Terrace)

November 9, 2019

4:00 PM to 7:00 PM
The Spokane Club

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