Randy Glen Johnson, 67, of Pullman, passed away Friday, Jan. 22, 2021, of natural causes at home.
Randy was born May 1, 1953, in Seattle to (Victor) Alan and Mildred (Skoglund) Johnson. Randy grew up in Seattle and had a true appreciation for boats and the water. Following his graduation from Roosevelt High School in 1971, he went to work in the cedar shake industry on the Olympic Peninsula. He spent many years in the Clearwater, Kalaloch and Bogachiel area working in the forest. There, Randy met Karen (Hobbs) Burden, and they married and then gave birth to their only son, Chad.
Randy was musically inclined, and he taught himself to play the harmonica in one of the old wood burners on the Hoh River. He played for years as part of a local band. Randy cared little about current music. Instead, he banged out show tunes on an old upright piano and sang to imitate Louis Armstrong’s “What a Wonderful World.” Though Karen and Randy eventually separated, they remained friends for life. After a stint back in Seattle, Randy moved to Pullman in the early 1990s. He worked in the auto parts industry, as a long-haul truck driver, and, most recently, as a bus driver for Wheatland Express.
Randy was well-read and full of extraordinary knowledge. He was a loving family man, proud of his son and his son’s family. He cherished communicating with family members, particularly his nephews and niece in California after their dad passed. As a man of words, he always had several books at hand. He read historical nonfiction and biographies of major American political figures, which gave him an uncanny recollection of historical facts and timelines. Randy maintained ties with the many friends he made from childhood onward, staying sharp and engaged to the very end. In an age of great political divide, he was not afraid to reach across the aisle. Randy was always tickled when he received radio shoutouts from Bill and Evan on the morning news.
Randy was preceded in death by his parents and brother Gary. He is survived by his son and daughter-in-law, Chad and Michiko Johnson, of Boise, and their two daughters, Mika and Yuzu; his sisters, Bette Gail Dunbar and Jeanne Marie Johnson, of Camano Island, Wash.
A memorial celebration of Randy’s life will be planned as it becomes safer to gather. Per his wishes, his ashes will be spread in the waters of the Olympic Peninsula. Kimball Funeral Home of Pullman has been entrusted with arrangements. You can hear a farewell radio shoutout and leave online condolences at www.kimballfh.com.