O. Edward Johnson
Printing Company Executive
O. Edward Johnson, 82, a printing company executive, died Sept. 22 of respiratory failure at Kindred Care acute care facility in St. Petersburg, Fla.
Mr. Johnson was born in Mardela Springs, Md., and his family moved to Takoma Park when he was a young child. He graduated from Montgomery Blair High School in Silver Spring.
As a youngster during the Depression, Mr. Johnson sold newspapers to help support his family. He was so successful at selling the Washington Star that he won a month-long trip to Europe.
Known to his friends as "Ed" or "Buck," Mr. Johnson lived in the Washington area most of his life. Over the past 10 years or so, he divided his time between Grasonville, Md., and Naples, Fla.
Mr. Johnson was inducted into the Army in 1943. He became a demolition specialist in the Corps of Engineers and was stationed in Europe in 1944. Two weeks before World War II ended in Europe in 1945, he was wounded in Germany.
"He had gotten up early to drive his lieutenant somewhere in Germany, leaving pockets of resistance behind," said his son, Don S. Johnson. "About six Germans jumped the jeep and captured them. They shot up the windshield of the jeep."
The Germans put on the soldiers' helmets and made them sit in the back as human shields, the son said. Later, they sped through a checkpoint gate and were fired on by U.S. soldiers. Sgt. Johnson was struck in the back, and a bullet lodged in his neck. He was hospitalized for nine months, his son said.
He received the Purple Heart and left the Army as a technician fourth grade in 1946.
After the war, Mr. Johnson attended the Rochester Institute of Technology in New York, from which he graduated in 1949. He returned to the Washington area and started his career at Darby Printing Co., where he worked about 10 years.
Over the years, Mr. Johnson worked with a number of Washington printing firms, including Merkel Press, Editor's Press, Kaufmann Press and Judd's Inc., that specialized in producing high-quality magazines.
He helped produce a number of major monthly magazines including the AOPA Pilot, Southern Accents, Endless Vacation and the Washingtonian. When he retired in 1988, he was a vice president of Judd's Inc.
His first wife, Jane Lee Johnson, whom he married in 1948, died in 1986; their daughter, Suzanne L. Bunitsky, died in 1999.
Survivors include his wife, whom he married in 1988, Muriel Stevenson-Johnson of Naples; two sons from his first marriage, Don C. Johnson of Gaithersburg and Lee S. Johnson of Carry-le-Rouet, France; two stepdaughters from the second marriage, Deborah R. Stevenson of Silver Spring and Karen C. Vassal of Naples; and six grandchildren.