Veteran of WWII

Published April 24, 2019

WOBURN — Howard “Sonny” Richard Johnson, 91, of Woburn, formerly of Rochester, Vt. and Wakefield, died peacefully surrounded by family on April 15, 2019 at Winchester Hospital after a period of declining health.

Howard was born on September 19, 1927 to Frederick C. Johnson and Christina E. (Lindberg) Johnson. He was the youngest of five children and was predeceased by his brothers Walter and Warren Johnson and sisters Pauline (Graham) and Eleanor (Peary) Johnson. He leaves behind many nieces and nephews as well as extended family to whom he was affectionately known as “Uncle Sonny.”

Howard grew up on Horn Pond, spending much of his youth playing hockey in the winter and exploring the ice houses in the summer while also working for Ponzee McCue. In his youth, he was an amazing athlete and continued his lifelong interest in sports as an avid fan of all of the Boston teams, especially the Bruins. He left Woburn Memorial High School to enlist in the Army Air Force and served in World War II stationed in Okinawa. After returning to Woburn he worked at the Atlantic Gelatin and went on to become a drilling and blasting expert for both Massachusetts Broken Stone and Rowe Contracting for over 40 years. He retired to Vermont in 1995 where he loved building stone walls, gardening and tending to his trout pond. He had a knack for making things grow, a true green thumb. He returned to Woburn in 2016, bringing his life full circle.

Howard was the beloved husband of Nancy (Hendricks) Johnson for 65 years. He was the loving father of Andy and his wife Carol of Somerville, Sarah Sujko of Fort Myers, Fla., Amy of Lincoln, Peter and his wife Michelle of East Douglas and Nancy Dhaliwal and her husband Zack of Woburn. He was the beloved Papa to grandchildren Greg and Eric Johnson; Lee Johnson (Caitlin), Anna and Julia Sujko; Alison and Katherine Johnson; Zachary (Rebecca) and Caileigh Morris, Noah, Alexa and Jordan Dhaliwal and great-grandchildren Dylan and Abigail Johnson.

A celebration of Howard’s life will be held on April 29 at St. Joseph Church, 173 Albion St Wakefield, MA at 10 a.m. Friends and family are invited to pay their respects on Sunday, April 28 at McDonald Funeral Home 19 Yale Ave., Wakefield from 1 – 4 p.m.