Traverse City Record-Eagle


April 10, 2014

Charles Johnson Died April 7, 2014

TRAVERSE CITY — Charles “Charlie” Johnson, 87, of Traverse City, passed away on April 7, 2014. Charlie was born in Burkett, Texas, on Feb. 21, 1927, to the late Reece and Cora (McKinney) Johnson.

In 1944 he enlisted in the U.S. Army as a medic and proudly served his country as a veteran of World War II.

Upon returning from military service he began a lifetime career of nearly 60 years in the oil and gas industry.

Charlie married the late Sue Johnson (Hampton) and together the couple raised their three children and celebrated 50 years of marriage.

After living in Texas and Singapore he made the decision in 1982 to relocate his family to Traverse City and begin his own oil and gas business. He started Northwestern Natural Gas, Antrim Drilling and LIDSCO. In his business Charlie was known for his deep knowledge and understanding of the oil and gas industry. He had many loyal employees and business associates who helped him along his successful path.

He was very generous, honest and kind hearted and deeply loved his family.

He enjoyed sports of all kinds and was known to “trade-off” between the Lions and Cowboys. He had a passion for learning, reading and working on his crossword puzzles. He was witty, smart and enjoyed playing a good practical joke with his many friends.

Charles married Jimmie (Hampton) Johnson on March 27, 2008, and the couple lived in Traverse City, where he found much joy in their new life together.

He is survived by his wife, Jimmie; daughters, Becky (Dan) Dixon and Melissa (Enda) Johnson; sister, Reecia Pigman; niece, Cindy (David) Dixon; granddaughter, Erin (Rob) Davis; stepdaughters, Susan Johns and Natalie Hampton; three grandchildren; and two great-grandchildren.

He was preceded in death by son, James “Jigger” Johnson; and sister, Martha Summers.

A celebration of life gathering will be held on Saturday, April 12, 2014, from 3 to 4:30 p.m., at the Reynolds-Jonkhoff Funeral Home.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Disability Network of Northern Michigan or Cherryland Humane Society.

Please share your thoughts and memories with Charles’ family by visiting

Arrangements for the family have been entrusted to Reynolds-Jonkhoff Funeral Home and Cremation Services.

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