Gregory “Butch” Christian Johnson passed away peacefully at home on March 18, 2023, in Comanche, Oklahoma. Greg was born in Brewster, Washington, on Feb. 24, 1952, to Leith and Jean Johnson. He grew up in the little town of Methow, Washington. Greg was able to take advantage of all the adventures that the rural farming community had to offer. Summers were spent at the local swimming hole with his sisters and friends (where he enjoyed doing cannonballs), camping and most of all, fishing. Greg developed a great inclination early on for using tools and fixing things. He was naturally curious about the way things worked and his mother favored educational toys and games for children and his father was an electrician, so this might have come as no surprise to people who knew him.
Greg started working when he was very young and soon had a reputation for having a strong work ethic and volunteer spirit. He could be found bucking bales of hay for a neighbor or driving a tractor, or working with the fire-fighting crews as kitchen support and later, as a HAM radio operator. After electronics school in Arizona, Greg returned to Okanogan County and worked in the Brewster area, eventually going to work for General Telephone Company at their communications satellite station.
In 1976, Greg married Shari Mitchell and they built their home in Brewster. They welcomed: Rachel in 1979, Crystal in 1981, and Patrisha in 1983. The first few years of his girls’ lives, the family moved several times, finally settling in East Wenatchee, Washington. During this time, Greg was employed by Sprint to maintain and repair the company’s fiber optics cable.
Greg enjoyed spending time with family, many holiday gatherings were held at the family home. Sharing his love of the outdoors and camping, Greg enjoyed setting up “base camp” on the Chewuch River for the annual family camping trip. He loaded up little bikes, trikes and camping gear. He thrived on being busy with camp cooking and chopping wood.
Greg volunteered for Ridge to River and Special Olympics. He became an active member of the Apple Valley HAM Radio Club and taught classes to those interested in becoming licensed operators. He continued to use his skills to volunteer in directing communications at disaster scenes, something that he would continue to do throughout his life for the Red Cross everywhere he lived.
In 2017, Greg married Avis Jones of Comanche, Oklahoma. His retirement was filled with volunteering, spending time with his dogs, and fishing with Avis at their favorite fishing holes. As his daughter, Crystal stated “Above all, Dad loved to fish.” Heaven better have a fully stocked lake because he wouldn’t want it any other way.
Greg was preceded in death by his father; and sister, Sue Krueger. He is survived by his wife, Avis Jones; daughters Rachel Johnson (RJ), Crystal Johnson (Raul), and Trish Johnson; grandchildren Trenton, Abbey, Keyen, Journey, Caysin, and Adame; mother, Jean Johnson; sisters Kathie Windle and Nancy Johnson; and six nieces and nephews.
A tree has been planted in his memory and a memorial service will be held at a later date. Memorials may be made out to American Red Cross, Northwest Region or the Apple Valley HAM Radio Club.