Gordon Franklin Johnson
was born in Camden, Ohio on November 24, 1928, son of Harley E. and Gladys K. Johnson. He graduated from Camden High School in 1946 and enlisted in the United States Navy where he served as an Aviation Specialist from 1946-1948, playing basketball for Great Lakes and Fleet Air (San Diego).
Following his military service, he enrolled at Ohio University in 1948, where he played freshman basketball. Dr. Johnson married hometown sweetheart Elois Charlotte Larkey in June 1949, then transferred to Marietta (Ohio) College, where he was a member and president of Lambda Chi Alpha fraternity and was the last three-sport letterman in the school’s history (basketball, baseball, and football). He graduated from Marietta College in 1952.
After teaching for a year at Green Hills (Ohio) High School he enrolled in veterinary school at The Ohio State University where he earned a DVM degree in 1957. Dr. Johnson practiced veterinary medicine in Lafayette, Indiana from 1957-68. In 1969, he and his family moved to St. Albans, West Virginia where he practiced veterinary medicine at Gateway Animal Hospital in St. Albans; Avalon Dog & Cat Hospital in South Charleston; and veterinary hospitals in Williamson and Logan. He retired from veterinary medicine in 1998.
Dr. Johnson was a long-time member of St. Andrew United Methodist Church in St. Albans, WV where he served on several church committees and coached church league basketball. Gordon enjoyed singing, playing the piano and various other instruments. He enjoyed spending time with family and friends. Doc was an avid lifetime upland game and mushroom hunter, having authored a book on each.
His beloved wife of seventy-two years, Elois, passed away in October 2021.
Dr. Johnson is survived by son, Eric “Rick” (Carol) Johnson of Canton, Georgia, daughter Lesa (Danny) Hackett of Chillicothe, Ohio, and grandchildren Beth (Mark) Crowley of Smyrna, Georgia, Michael Hackett of Fairmont, West Virginia and Kate Johnson of Woodstock, Georgia.
A graveside service will occur at Fairmount Cemetery in Camden, Ohio at two o’clock, Saturday, April 22. In lieu of flowers, please send donations to St. Andrew United Methodist Church, St. Albans, West Virginia or to Kanawha Charleston Humane Association, Charleston, West Virginia.
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