Stephen Samuel Johnson

MARQUETTE, MI. – Stephen Samuel Johnson, age 89, of Marquette, passed on peacefully at the D. J. Jacobetti Home for Veterans on Thursday, January 31, 2014 where he was a resident for the last several years.

Born October 23, 1924 in Manistique, son of Gottfrid and Eva (Merrill) Johnson, Steve graduated from Manistique High School in 1942.

He attended the University of Michigan before entering the United States Army during World War II, where he served in the European Theatre and saw action in the Battle of the Bulge. He received an honorable discharge in 1946 and later attained the reserve rank of Captain.

After the war, Stephen returned to the U of M and graduated with a BA degree, followed by a Juris Doctor Law from the University of Detroit in 1951.

From 1952 to 1972 he owned and operated The Johnson Company, an Insurance Adjusting firm with five offices throughout the Upper Peninsula.

In 1972, Stephen opened his law office in Marquette, where he practiced law until retiring at age 77. During this time he held the position of Marquette County bankruptcy trustee for many years.

Stephen is survived by his loving wife of over sixty years, Billie Blair Vaughn Johnson, his daughter Blair Vaughn-Gruler and her husband Ernst Gruler, sons Nels S. Johnson and fiance Cathie Nelson, and Lige H. Johnson and wife Michelle; grandchildren, Zevin Polzin, Oliver Polzin, Jeremy Johnson and Jestine Johnson; step grandchildren, Paige, Carley and Macie Kahnlar; sisters-in-law, Margie Vaughn, Kathryn Swarthout and Janyth Sheldon, along with several nieces and nephews.

In addition to his parents, Steve was preceded in death by his brother, Merrill N. Johnson and his wife Dawna Johnson; mother and father-in-law, Lige and Blair Vaughn, and sister-in-law, Betty Blair Thronson, and brother-in-law, Jack Hood Vaughn.

Honoring Stephen’s wishes, a graveside service for family will be held at Fairview Cemetery in Manistique, Michigan. He will be greatly missed by his family and friends.

Stephen’s family wishes to thank the wonderful staff at D.J. Jacobetti Veterans Home for their respectful, loving care over the years. Memorials may be made in Stephen’s honor to D.J. Jacobetti Home for Veterans, Member Assistance Fund, 425 Fisher Street, Marquette, MI 49855.

The Canale-Tonella Funeral Home is assisting the family, where memories may be shared at