Paul Johnson Gary Verver collection

Paul Johnson has been named Veteran of the Month for January at Maine Veterans’ Homes — Augusta, according to a news release from the Augusta independent nonprofit organization.

The oldest child of seven, Johnson was born in Boston and grew up in Stoughton with his five sisters and one brother.

His father worked for the railroad while his mother managed the home and large family. He worked too once he was a teenager — mowing lawns in his neighborhood.

He loved to spend time outdoors, exploring the woods and swimming in the local quarry, a passion that followed him into adulthood. He also was a member of his high school’s nature club.

While in his youth, Johnson helped his father with the homing pigeons that he trained. This hobby would follow him into adulthood.

After Johnson graduated from Stoughton High School, he attended the University of Massachusetts at Amherst for two years before deciding to enlist in the Air Force.

The year was 1955, and he was training at Sampson Air Force Base in New York. He was then stationed at Lincoln Air Force Base in Nebraska and Griffiss Air Force Base in New York. He worked in the supply department for his entire four years of service to the country.

The Suez Canal conflict happened while Johnson was enlisted, and he’ll never forget the B-47 Bombers taking off in the middle of the night.

While still in the military, he married his wife, Barbara, and they went on to have three children: Robert, Richard and Alan.

Johnson finished his degree at UMass Amherst and earned a degree in forestry management. He also picked up the same hobby that his father enjoyed during his youth — homing pigeons. One of his hens even won a 600-mile race in Silver Springs, Maryland.

He enjoyed a 30-year career with the United States Forest Service. When he retired, he was assistant deputy to the Deputy Chief of State and Private Forestry and even had a hand in the roll out of the first Earth Day. In retirement, he continued to pursue his love for the environment; he volunteered for the Maine Appalachian Trail Club. He oversaw and maintained trails in his district and out-houses for trail goers.

Also, in retirement, he was married to his second wife, Judy. They took many adventures in their RV, with his favorite trip being Alaska.

filed under: