Craig F. Johnson, 65, of St. Jacob died Tuesday, March 17, 2015 at John Cochran V.A. Hospital in St. Louis, Mo.
He was born on Dec. 27, 1948 to Orville and Lucille (Schaffer) Johnson. On Aug. 27, 1977, he married Jay Hwang in Wheaton, Minn. She survives in St. Jacob.
Mr. Johnson was drafted into the U.S. Army while he was in college. He served in Vietnam during 1969. Later, he served in Korea, where he met his wife in 1976. He was a career helicopter pilot and later became an instructor pilot and safety officer. After marriage, he was stationed in Germany for several years. His wife moved there with him, and that’s where their daughters were born. He finished his active duty service in 1984, and signed up for the Reserves. In 1991, he started working for the then Defense Mapping Agency, now National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency, retiring on Dec. 31, 2010.
He was a huge baseball fan, rarely missing a St. Louis Cardinals game, and he also becoming a big Gateway Grizzlies game attendee after moving to Illinois.
He was a devoted husband and father, who was fun-loving and sometimes goofy, sharing daily cartoons and quips with those he loved. He loved reading, movies, driving and eating, and he loved to talk about the journey of it all.
He was diagnosed with service-related amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) in April 2010. He lived with it through the love and support of his family, until finally succumbing to complications of the disease.
He is also survived by his daughters, Lisa M. (Steve) Kim of Chicago and Kristall M. Johnson of St. Jacob; and a granddaughter, Reagan S. Kim.
He was preceded in death by his parents; and a brother, Byron Johnson.
He would be greatly honored by donations in his memory to the ALS Foundation ( alsa.org/donate) to help others who continue fighting the disease.