Lee Hauck Johnston was born Oct. 25,1925, in Zebra, Mo., and was the third child in a family of 11 brothers and sisters. He was raised on a dairy farm and joined the United States Army Dec. 10,1943, where he served to liberate France from German occupation. He served under General Patton as one of his machine gunners. He received three Bronze Stars for service in Central Europe, the Rhineland, and the Campaign of Ardennes.
It was in France, during World War II that he met his wife of 56 years, Marte. They were married in 1947 after being honorably discharged from the Army. In 1949, Lee and Marte moved to California where they lived and raised a family in Tahoe City, Calif., for 35 years.
Lee’s passion was fishing and he traveled throughout the country in search of any fish he could find. Some of his favorites locations and fish were brookies of small Lake Tahoe streams, spoonbill catfish of Missouri, sturgeon of the San Francisco Bay and the giant halibut off the island of Adak, Alaska. When Lee wasn’t busy fishing he worked as a carpenter and built many homes during his career including the homes he lived in.
After the children grew up, Lee and Marte headed for warmer weather in Valley Center, Calif. Being raised on a farm, Lee took great pride in his garden, large variety of fruit trees and the amount of milk and eggs his goats and chickens produced. If he couldn’t eat it or use it for work he wouldn’t raise it.
In 1996 Lee and Marte moved to Oak Harbor to be closer to family. After becoming ill, Lee was cared for by his loving wife and he passed away at home peacefully Feb. 15, 2003, with Marte by his side.
Lee is survived by his wife Marte, son Paul, daughter-in-law Lorna, their two children Kyle and Lyndsey, son Claude, his son Zachariah; daughter
Suzette, son-in-law David Keller and their daughter Brittany, Lee’s six sisters Ica De Milo, Martha Drager, Georgia Winkler, Bonnie Beals, Bessie Gilson, Beulah Donelson and their three brothers Santo, Dossie and Donald Shippert.
Lee was preceded in death by his mother Livonia, father Charley and brother Raymond. Lee was a loving husband who absolutely adored his wife and was a dedicated father. He believed his family and his country were the most important things on earth.
A private family military service will be held at 11 a.m., Thursday, Feb. 20. Arrangements are by Burley Funeral Chapel.