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Walter H. Johnson, O.D.

December 21, 1917 June 11, 2008
Walter H. Johnson, O.D.
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Obituary for Walter H. Johnson, O.D.

St. Albans - Dr. Walter H. Johnson, 90, died peacefully at the Northwestern Medical Center in the early hours of Wednesday morning June 11, 2008, surrounded by members of his loving family. Dr. Johnson practiced optometry in St. Albans for more than 50 years and was active in community and civic affairs. He is survived by his wife of 59 years, Joreen, sons Walter H. (Wally) Jr. of Canton, NY, John H. and his wife Paula of St. Albans, Christopher P. and his wife Delores (Dee) of Highgate and two daughters Judy M. Werner and her husband John of Arlington and Jennifer Hubbard and her husband Jim of Swanton. He also leaves grandchildren Mathieu, Marc and Meredith Johnson, J.K. and Jordan Werner and Joreen, Jack and Jake Hubbard. He was pre-deceased by two sisters, Virginia Flanagan and Patricia Clark and is survived by nephews Jack, Terry, Tim and Michael Flanagan of California. Born December 21, 1917, the son of Harold T. (Tim) and Helen (Carroll) Johnson, he attended a number of grammar schools and high schools as his father moved around the Northeast as a meat salesman. He attended Danbury State Teachers College and earned his doctor of optometry degree from the Illinois College of Optometry in 1943. He also attended the Dartmouth Eye Institute and later received a certificate in developmental vision from the Gesell Institute. He served in the U.S. Navy as an optometrist at the Great Lakes Naval Training Center during World War II. He began a practice of optometry in St. Albans in 1946 and married Joreen Waine of St. Albans in July 1, 1948, at St. Paul’s Methodist Church. Dr. Johnson first practiced on Bank Street and added a satellite office in Enosburg Falls. He later partnered with Carl Whitehouse, creating Optometric Associates. He was president of the Vermont Optometric Association and the State Board of Examiners in Optometry. He was named to the Board of Trustees of the New England College of Optometry and was a member of the American Academy of Optometrists, American Optometric Association and the Vermont Society of Optometrists. He was also vice president of the New England Council of Optometry. He was president of the Owl Club, a member of the Green Mountain Shrine Club, Franklin Lodge, # 4, F&AM, Green Mountain Post # 1, American Legion, a board member of the St. Albans Chamber of Commerce, a president of the St. Albans Rotary Club, a board member of the St. Albans Giants Baseball Club and served on the vestry of St. Luke’s Episcopal Church. He was a member of the St. Albans City School Board and the Bellows Free Academy Board of Trustees and also served as a Red Cross Fund Campaign chair among many community activities. Walter and Jerry were named Northwestern Counseling and Support Services Citizens of the Year in 1999. He is rejoining his golf cronies Sam Howard, Ray McGinn, Bob Bliss, Howard Jacobs, and Percy Shangraw. He was also a skier and enjoyed going to hunting camp in his younger years. He was also an avid reader and a dedicated fan of the Boston Red Sox. The family would like to extend their deepest gratitude to the nurses of Franklin County Home Health, particularly Paula Larose, Liza Bray, Mary Ellen Sanders and Tracie Pilbin. They would also like to express their gratitude to the St. Albans City Fire Department, AmCare Ambulance, Dr. Michael Corrigan, Kim Charbonneau, Annie McGinn, Anne Cain, the staff at Franklin County Rehab and the nurses at Northwestern Medical Center, especially Karen “Lucy” Dewey. The help and support of good neighbors Allison O’Neil and Rae Catlin is also highly appreciated. Arrangements are with the Heald Funeral Home. No calling hours will be held and a memorial service celebrating the life of Dr. Johnson will be conducted on July 1, 2008, the 60th anniversary of Walt and Jerry’s wedding, at 11 a.m. at St. Luke’s Episcopal Church on the corner of Fairfield and Church Street, with a reception to follow. Memorial contributions may be made to Franklin County Home Health Agency, Inc., 3 Home Health Circle, St. Albans, Vermont 05478. Messages of condolence to the Johnson family are welcome at www.healdfuneralhome.com.

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