Col. Leon Pate Johnson, U.S. Army retired, died May 12, 2008, at Fort Walton Beach Medical Center. He was the only son of the late Leon P. and Berta P. Johnson of Clio, S.C. Born in Fayetteville, N.C., he grew up in Clio. In September 1940 he entered The Citadel, the Military College of South Carolina, in Charleston. Called to active duty with his class in June 1943, he was commissioned a second lieutenant of infantry at Fort Benning, Ga., in November 1944. He joined the 94th Infantry Division in Europe in January 1945 as a platoon leader and served with the Division until October 1945. Assigned to the 1st Infantry Division in Nuremburg, Germany, he was on duty at the Nuremburg War Crime Trials. Returning to the United States in July 1946, he reentered The Citadel, from which he was graduated in June 1947. While employed as a salesman in Charlotte, N.C., he met and married his loving wife, Betty Moose, on Sept. 10, 1949. Recalled to active duty as a captain in December 1950, he served on active duty with tours in Korea, Japan, West Germany, the U.S. and two tours in South Vietnam. He retired in January 1973. Following retirement, he was an Executive Director with the American Cancer Society for 13 years. He was an active member of Shalimar United Methodist Church, and past commander of the Fort Walton Beach Chapter of Military Order of the World Wars. Other memberships include his being a life member of The Citadel Alumni Association, life member of the 94th Infantry Division Association, member of the Fort Walton Beach Kiwanis Club, Post 7674 of the VFW, Association of the U.S. Army, and the Retired Officers’ Association. In 1996 he was elected as an honorary life member of the Florida Division of the ACS. He is survived by his wife Betty; and three children, Mary Jane Robertson of Shalimar, Fla., Michael Eric of Golden, Colo., and Margaret Ann of Chantilly, Va. Services will be held at Shalimar United Methodist Church at 2 p.m. Thursday, May 15, with the senior pastor officiating. Burial will be in Beal Memorial Cemetery. The family requests memorials be made to Shalimar United Methodist Church; The Citadel Foundation, The Citadel, Charleston, SC 26409; or the American Cancer Society. Emerald Coast Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements. Published in the Northwest Florida Daily News on 5/14/2008. Tags: 1944

Posted in:

Posted on:

Link to original obituary: