EBEN JUNCTION, MI. - Clifford L Johnson, lifelong resident of Eben, passed away peacefully Friday, December 14, 2012, after a lengthy illness.
Clifford was born in Munising, Mich., on July 10, 1930. Clifford was raised by his grandmother Hulda Leppanen and her children, Clifford's aunts and uncles, with whom he was very close. He married the love of his life, Irene Samanen, on June 21, 1952. He lived in the same home on Ferguson road all of his life where he and his wife Irene raised their five children. Cliff was a milk truck driver for Michigan Milk Assc and maintained a family farm with dairy cows and various other animals. He also helped other local farmers to care for their livestock, acting as a local vet. His greatest joy was spending time with his family and friends. He will forever be remembered for his unique laugh which carried for miles, his gentle smile, and his kind heart. Everyone was welcome in his home. His strong hands could bring you to your knees when he gave you the "old Finnish squeeze". In his spare time Clifford enjoyed pitching softball and tricking batters with "the old change up". He loved riding his 4-wheeler around his acres of land, hunting, fishing, and gardening. He was always up for a challenging game of cards or bean bags. Retirement included traveling and wintering in Florida. He enjoyed not only playing sports himself but also watching his grandchildren's games and was a loyal Lions and Tiger fan.
Clifford was a dedicated family man, husband, and friend to so many people. Nothing was more important than his precious wife of 60 years, Irene, who was with him every step of the way through his wonderful journey on earth.
Clifford L Johnson
He is survived by his wife, Irene; his children, Shelley (Dana) Varvil of Big Bay, Mich., Barry (Rachel) Johnson of Eben, Mich., Cliff Jr. of Rumely, Mich., Sheila (Wayne) Richmond of Eben., and Sheri (Vince) Clark of Riverview, Florida; grandchildren Jake, Shayne, Trisha, Terry, Ethan, Kaitlyn, Lindsey, Jaylen, and Makayla; five great-grandchildren; two half-sisters and two half-brothers. He was preceded in death by his parents, an infant daughter Suzette and three half-brothers.
Special thanks to Dr. Huffman and his nurse Marcie and to Pastor Kelto.
Visitation will be held on Tuesday, December 18, 2012 from 10:00 a.m until 11:00 a.m. at the Sion Lutheran Church in Chatham.
Pastor Paul D. Kelto will conduct Clifford's memorial service beginning at 11:00 a.m. Interment will be in the Pine Grove Cemetery at a later date. Clifford's obituary and guest book may be viewed and signed at www.bowermanfuneralhome.net