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Official Obituary of

Dale Johnson

December 24, 1931 ~ August 12, 2023 (age 91) 91 Years Old

Dale Johnson Obituary

Dale Johnson, aged 91, of Billings, Montana, passed away on August 12, 2023.

He was born on December 24, 1931, to Louise and William Johnson in New Underwood, South Dakota. The home he was raised in was built by Dale’s father and grandfather. There was no electricity in the home until 1946! He would often entertain his children and grandchildren with stories of him and his four mischievous brothers growing up on the family farm outside of town.

Upon leaving New Underwood following his high school graduation in 1949, he worked a variety of jobs, including Telegraph and Radio Operator, Switchman for the Union Pacific Railroad, Chauffeur, Arthur Murray Dance Instructor, and Floral Assistant. Always a hard worker, he supported himself through schooling in Minnesota, Washington, Illinois and Colorado.

Dale spent a brief stint with the U.S. Navy from 1951 to 1952, then enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps until his discharge in 1955. A proud veteran, he served in both Korea and Japan. Upon his return to the states, he married Mary Ann Weiser in 1956 in New Underwood. The couple relocated to Denver, where he worked while attending night school at Denver University. He received a Bachelor of Science degree in 1959. This allowed him to get a job with the Colorado Health Department from which he later received a scholarship to attend a Master’s program in Environmental Health at the University of North Carolina in 1960. During this time, four children were born to Mary Ann and Dale.

Dale was commissioned into the United States Public Health Service (USPHS) in 1960 and was assigned to the Indian Health Service, where he relocated to Arizona and Virginia. During this period, he received the prestigious title of “Diplomate” by the American Academy of Sanitarians. After Mary Ann’s death in 1968, Dale moved with his four young children to New Mexico. There, he met and married Clarabeth Holt in 1970 and two additional children were born.

His final assignment was a 1977 relocation to Montana, where he retired as a Captain from the USPHS in 1985. In his retirement years, he was never bored, always looking to the next business venture. Some examples include working for the Gallatin County Health Department and becoming a partner in environmental cleanup for contaminated soils in the Billings area. In addition, Dale was always active and pursued many hobbies. He enjoyed organized trail rides in the mountains of Montana and Wyoming, loved to hunt and fish, achieved notable skills in woodworking, started raising earthworms for prospective commercial buyers, received his private pilot’s license, used his Marine Corps skills to earn a ham radio general operations license, and became an avid golfer. Finally, as the cold Montana winters became less appealing, Dale and Clarabeth purchased a winter home in Arizona, where they hosted family and friends.

Dale is survived by his wife, Clarabeth; sons Michael (Becky), Patrick, Timothy (Brenda) and Earl; and daughters Kelly (John Sveen) and Heather (James Viano). Preceding Dale in death were his parents, William and Louise; his brothers, Maury, Sid, Chuck and Jake; as well as his first wife, Mary Ann. As Dale was the last surviving son of the Bill and Louise Johnson family, we remember fondly and wonder about the genesis of the nicknames Bill Johnson gave to each of his boys Maury “Pussey,” Sid “Hudney,” Chuck “Pilley,” Dale “Boodle” and Jake “Piacketts.” Dale was much admired and loved by his six children, 13 grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.

Dale, as many remember him, had a great sense of humor and an incredibly positive outlook on life. He was devout in his Catholic Faith and it brought him immense joy to be surrounded by his family in the outdoors and in his homes in Montana and Arizona. He will be fondly remembered and greatly missed by those who loved him.

Funeral mass will be at 10 a.m. Friday, Aug. 18, at St. Thomas the Apostle Church, 2055 Woody Drive.

Memorials may be made to Spinal Muscular Atrophy (SMA) or Food for the Poor.

To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Dale Johnson, please visit our floral store.

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Services

Funeral Mass
Friday
August 18, 2023

10:00 AM
St. Thomas the Apostle Catholic Church
2055 Woody Drive
Billings, MT 59102

Military Honors
Friday
August 18, 2023

12:00 PM
Yellowstone National Cemetery
55 Buffalo Trail Road
Laurel, Montana 59044

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