BERWICK - Albert Johnson, 94, passed away on Oct. 22, 2015, at the CW Bill Young Veteran's hospital in Saint
Albert was born on Nov. 5, 1920, in Berwick, to the late Dana and Carrie (Ridlon) Johnson, along with his fraternal twin, Richard.
His early years were spent in Berwick, but later the family moved to Alfred, to the Trafton House, where Albert remained during his childhood and where a cousin continues to live.
While at Alfred High School, where he graduated in 1939, he learned to play the guitar and mandolin.
Albert developed a great love of music and became proficient enough to play at Grange Halls, where close friend Dot Smiley, a tap dancer, and James Smiley, a guitar player, accompanied him. He also played with a string group from Sanford in a 15-minute spot on a Portsmouth, New Hampshire radio station.
In 1942, Albert entered the Army. His training was in verbal radio communication and by Morse code. As a member of the 771st tank destroyer battalion, company C, he was wounded in action on Nov. 20, 1944, and received a Purple Heart. His company received the Presidential Unit Citation for extraordinary courage under fire. After being hospitalized for two months, he entered the Army Air Corps for further training. He was assigned to the South Pacific when the war ended and he was honorably discharged in December of 1945.
Upon returning to Alfred from the military, he married Rita Babcock on June 21, 1946, and they enjoyed nearly 60 years of marriage until her death in 2005. Together they had a son, David Johnson.
He worked at several locations from time to time, but retired as an inspector at the company division of Cyro, in Sanford.
He was a lifelong member of the American Legion. Albert spent the last five years of his life living with his son and daughter-in-law, Ellen, in Gulfport, Florida.
Albert liked to recall when he was a child in Berwick, the Varney girls who lived next door and spent time in Florida. They would often bring back oranges and grapefruits, which would start him on a lifelong love of the fruits. He also loved to fish, and did so whenever the opportunity presented itself.
He is survived by: a son, Dave and his wife Ellen; a grandson, Stephen; and a granddaughter, Sarah. Also, many cousins in the Alfred area, including Eleanor Brown of Alfred, Marilyn Clark of Norway, and Robert Johnson of Portland.
A funeral service will be held on Thursday, Nov. 5, at Carll-Heald & Black Funeral Home, 580 Main St., Springvale. Visiting hours will begin at 10:00 a.m. until the service at noon, immediately followed by a burial at Evergreen Cemetery in Alfred.
Arrangements are under the direction of Black Funeral Homes & Cremation Service, Sanford-Springvale.
Condolences can be expressed at www.blackfuneralhomes.com.