An all around family man who never missed an event involving his family

Published June 30, 2021

MELROSE — Howard G. “Howie” Johnson, a longtime resident of Melrose, passed away peacefully at home on Monday, June 28, 2021 at age 89.

Howie was born in Melrose on January 2, 1932, son of the late Grant and Ruby (England) Johnson. Raised in Melrose, Howie spotted his future wife, Joanne, at a dance at the Greenwood School. He graduated from Melrose High School in 1950, Suffolk University in 1954, and soon after married Joanne on November 6, 1954. A lifelong Melrosian, Howie and Joanne raised a family of three sons in Melrose.

Instilled with a strong work ethic from his father, one of his life lessons that he passed along to his sons was “hard work pays dividends.” A career salesman with genuine charm, Howie could sell anyone anything and he did. He began working at age 14, established a career in home improvement sales, and continued selling into his 80’s. After 50 years, he finally retired in his 80’s, but stayed busy gardening, traveling, reading the newspaper front to back, or heading to his favorite spot, Bellevue Golf Course. Howie was a longtime Bellevue member, avid golfer, and enjoyed the many friendships, golf partners, and staff from the Club over the years.

A generous and wonderful person, Howie was the life of the party. He was an avid skier, skiing into his 80’s, and loved dancing. He was always up for trips to Lake Winnipesaukee for jetskiing, boating, and enjoyed his home in Nahant. A real gentleman, Howie was beloved by everyone who knew him. He had a unique ability to connect with people of all ages and from all walks of life. He accepted everyone, enjoyed numerous longtime friendships, and was kind to all. With a quick sense of humor, he always had a joke ready, and never took life too seriously.

Above all, family was at the core of Howie Johnson. He cherished his wife Joanne, and was a source of great love and strength for his children and grandchildren. He never missed any event celebrating his grandchildren, including every sports game, birthday, and dance recital. He loved gathering everyone together for holidays, and kept everyone laughing and having fun. Howie will be deeply missed, but always lovingly remembered for his endless positive nature, kind heart, and great sense of humor. May he rest in peace.

Howie was the beloved husband of Joanne D. (Anderson) Johnson with whom he shared 66 years of marriage. Devoted father of Kenneth Johnson of Melrose; David Johnson and his wife, Wendy, of Lynnfield; Eric Johnson and his wife, Tracy, of Wakefield; and the late Arthur Johnson. Cherished grandfather of Lauren, Brandon, David, Brooke, Caroline and Alex.

Relatives and friends are invited to gather during visiting hours at the Robinson Funeral Home, 809 Main St., Melrose on Thursday, July 1 from 4-8 p.m., and again for his funeral service celebrated on Friday at 10 a.m. Interment in Wyoming Cemetery, Melrose. For directions, online tribute visit