Carl A. Johnson, age 89, of Yankton, South Dakota, died Tuesday, December 23, 2014 at Avera Sister James Care Center in Yankton.
A joint funeral service for Carl and his wife, Vanice, who passed away on November 2, 2013, will be held at 10:30 AM, on Tuesday, December 30, 2014 at First United Methodist Church in Yankton with Reverend Ron Johnson officiating. Visitation is 5:00 to 8:00 PM, on Monday, December 29 at the Wintz & Ray Funeral Home in Yankton. Visitation will continue one hour prior to the funeral at the church. Burial for Carl and Vanice with military honors will be at the Black Hills National Cemetery in Sturgis, South Dakota in late spring 2015.
Honorary pallbearers are members of the Yankton Lions Club.
Carl was born March 7, 1925 in Springfield, South Dakota to Alfred and Elizabeth (Lang) Johnson. He grew up in Springfield where he graduated high school. Carl achieved his dream of joining the Army Air Corp, in which he served as a navigator in England during World War II. After the war, he attended Yankton College on the GI Bill, where he met Vanice Lorene Jones. They married in Yankton on November 30, 1947 and were blessed with their first son, Carl Jr., the following year. Carl returned to military service in the newly formed Air Force and served as a pilot in Japan during the Korean War. Vanice left Japan in 1950 to give birth to Barbara Jo in Yankton. The family then relocated to bases in North Carolina, Oklahoma, and Nevada, where Donn Charles was born in 1953. Carl continued his service in Arizona, Florida, and Bermuda, where he and Vanice welcomed their fourth and final child, Steven Curtis, in 1957. Relocating nearer his extended family, Carl served with the Strategic Air Command at Offutt Air Force Base in Bellevue, NE for six years. The whole family then moved to Okinawa for two years, but Vanice and the kids returned to the US for Carl's tour in Taiwan during the Vietnam War. Carl's final assignment was at Ellsworth Air Force Base in Rapid City, SD. Carl's military career spanned nearly 27 years, and he retired a highly decorated Lieutenant Colonel in March 1970. After retirement, Carl continued to serve his community as a Boy Scout Executive in Huron, SD and Bismarck, ND; his sons joined the Scouts, and Vanice and Barb helped with summer camps at Big Stone Lake, SD. In 1976, Carl and Vanice returned to Yankton, where Carl worked at the Fish Hatchery for several years. Carl fulfilled his love of service with the Emergency Management Program, including Search and Rescue, Civil Defense, storm watching, and EMT training. Carl was a member of VFW Post 791, the Lewis and Clark Shrine Club and Elks Lodge in Yankton, but his devotion lay with the Yankton Lions Club. He served as President, Secretary, and Treasurer of the Club, dedicated 25 years to the Flag Project and 20 years to the Vision Committee, and was chosen Lion of the Year in 2009. Carl also enjoyed marksmanship and hunting with his family and friends, especially fellow Lion Frank Arnesen.
Carl and Vanice are survived by four children: Carl Jr. (married to Val) Johnson of Plattsmouth, NE, Barbara (married to Gary) Coles of Williamston, MI, Donn Johnson of Superior, CO, and Steven Johnson of Marietta, GA; nine grandchildren; 18 great grandchildren, and Vanice's brother, Fred Jones of Tuscon, AZ. They were preceded in death by their parents; Carl's brothers, John and Charles Johnson, and sister Mary Lou Nelson; and Vanice's sisters, Arlys Jones and Carol Williams.
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We so enjoyed Carl & Vanice as Quarry steakhouse customers. Always enjoyed visiting & stories.
Jolene & Pat Foss
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