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Martha E. Johnson

Martha E. "Betty" Johnson, 89, of Quinnesec, passed away on Wednesday, Feb. 19 at St. Vincent Hospital in Green Bay.

Born Aug. 5, 1924, in Florence, S.C., she was the daughter of the late James and Laurie (Gorman) Hollingsworth and she was a 1942 graduate of Tubman High School in Augusta, Ga. She entered the Air Force in honor of her brother, James Hollingsworth, who was killed in action.

She was first assigned with the Air Force and then later to the Third Army where she was the secretary to the chief of staff, Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower. While in Washington, she asked to be sent on overseas duty and chose Atlantic since her brother was buried in England. While serving in Germany, she went to Hitler's Hideout, rode in Gering's train car and attended a portion of the Nuremberg Trials. The Nuremberg Trials were a series of trials from 1945-1949 that prosecuted prominent leaders of Nazi Germany after its defeat in World War II.

She married her husband, Lee, in Germany. After getting permission from both of their commanders to be married, they first had to be married by the law of the land on Feb. 3 and on Feb. 8 had their church wedding performed by a chaplain. She earned the rank of staff sergeant and some of her commendations include the European and American Theatre Ribbons, Good Conduct Medal, Overseas Stripes, and Victory Medal as well as her superior rating while working for Gen. Eisenhower.

Later she taught Red Cross swimming and lifesaving for 42 years, was involved as a 4-H leader and in the Boy Scouts. She directed the Precisionaires Drill team and was affiliated with the White Beret Drum and Bugle Corps when her son was a member. At the age of 16, she was the only child admitted to the Augusta Civic Symphony playing the clarinet. She also played the violin and was involved with area symphony orchestras. A member of Redemption Hill Church, her life focused on a love of God, family and country and the examples will be continued on by her family.

She is survived by five children, Howard (Patti) Johnson of Minneapolis, Minn., Dave Johnson (Nancy Naylor) and Laurene "Rene" (Jeff) Gustafson, both of Iron Mountain, James (Mindy) Johnson, of Oconto Falls, Ava Johnson (Mark Mitchell) of Kingsford; a special niece, considered a daughter, Linda (Al) Westman, of Quinnesec; many grandchildren; great-grandchildren and several nieces and nephews.

She was preceded in death by her husband, Lee H. Johnson in 1999; an infant son, David Johnson and two brothers, James and David Hollingsworth.

Visitation was held from 2 p.m. until time of a Memorial Service at 4 p.m. on Tuesday, Feb. 25 at Redemption Hill Church in Kingsford. Rev. Ronald Wolfe officiated with burial in the Quinnesec Cemetery. A memorial was established in her memory. Erickson-Rochon and Nash Funeral Home assisted the family with arrangements.


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