George G. Johnson was a well-known Marquette police Chief.
Death and legacyEdit
George G. Johnson, 78, entered eternal life Monday afternoon, May 19, 2009 at his home in Big Bay.
George was born on November 19, 1930 in Munising, Michigan to Axel and Thelma Johnson. He graduated from Graveraet High School and then went on to attend the Police School at Michigan State University finishing second in his class. His career as a Marquette patrolman started Feb. 19, 1955. From 1956 to 1961 he served as a motorcycle officer. In 1961 he was promoted to detective, a position he held for just two years before he was promoted to police chief, a position he held with dignity for 32 years. Prior to working for the City Police Department, Chief Johnson served for six years in the United States Navy.
George was elected to the National Police Officers Hall of Fame in Florida in 1967 as U.P. Officer of the year. He also gained recognition by the Executive Board of the International Police Managers Association as one of the top Chief Administrators in the United States and in 1993 was selected by his peers as the city Employee of the Year.
As Chief of Police, he had been active in many state and regional law enforcement associations and had received numerous recognitions including: charter member of the Michigan Law Enforcement Officers Training Council, Michigan Association of Chiefs of Police, State Traffic Council, Northern Michigan University Police Advisory Council Chairman, charter member of the Marquette County Law Enforcement Officers Association.
His professional activities included: board member of the Marquette County Historical Museum, charter member of the McClintock Darter Dace Committee, member of the Shiras Institute Board of Directors, Maritime Museum Committee member, Chairman of the Marquette County Administrators Association, Chairman for two years of the U.P. Chiefs Association, member of the Dean of Students Advisory Board, charter member of the Veteran Memorial Committee and numerous other state and local committees.
George was especially proud of his involvement with the Pigs-n-Heat Fire Victims Relief Fund and its annual charity hockey game. His love of community was evidenced by his commitment to many projects and causes. He had a great sense of humor and possessed a kind and generous heart.
George was an avid outdoorsman and sports enthusiast, involved in many youth sports teams including baseball, football and hockey. He also served as a past Board of Directors member for the Marquette Iron Rangers hockey team.
George is survived by his wife Gloria (Gina) Johnson of Big Bay, his five children, Elizabeth Sonderegger (John) and Roger Johnson (Carol) of Marquette, Curtis Johnson (Heidi) of Scottsdale, Arizona, Susan McCabe (Mark) of Traverse City and Renee Re (Anthony) of San Antonio, Texas, his 13 grandchildren and his 2 step-children, Jeffery Munro and Kelly-Sue Diedrich of Marquette; sisters Marguerite (Peggy) VanOverloop of Marquette and Beverly Martin (Robert) of Phoenix, Arizona.
George was preceded in death by his parents, Axel and Thelma Johnson; his brother James Johnson and a grandson, Eric Diedrich.
Burial took place in the Holy Cross Cemetery.