Charley F. Johnson

Charley F. Johnson was born in January of 1925 to Fredrick and Mary (Lewis) Johnson in Aberdeen, Washington. He lived in Cosmopolis in his younger years then moved to Elma, where he attended Elma High School, lettering in track. He took drafting courses at South Puget Sound Community College. While one of his first jobs was digging razor clams commercially, his real career was with Simpson Timber Company in McCleary. He began as a mill worker, later becoming a supervisor in their plywood plant. He worked at Simpson until his retirement.

His first marriage was to Janey Olson of Centralia, Wash. They had three children, Charlie H. Johnson, Carol (Johnson) Smith, and Corey D. Johnson. The family lived in the McCleary area from the 1950s through the 1970s. After Janey passed away in 1975, Charley married Beverley Mathis, and they moved to Summit Lake. Beverley passed away in 1999, after which Charley married Ruth Wilson on October 15, 1999. They relocated to Olympia where they shared their love of dancing for many years.

Charley had many talents and passions in life. He loved the Pacific Northwest and its natural beauty. He loved to fish and dig clams, and would quickly limit on razor clams when no one else could even see them. He was artistic and musical, playing the organ, harmonica, and accordion. He painted wonderful artistic scenes, mostly of nature. He loved gardening and animals, and rescued many stray dogs and cats in his lifetime. He could fix about anything, and had talented wood crafting skills. He remodeled many homes throughout his life, doing all of the work himself.

Charley was preceded in death by his father, Fredrick; mother, Mary; brothers, James and Robert Wheeler; sister, Elsie; and wives, Janey and Beverley. He is survived by his wife, Ruth; three children and their spouses, Charley (Joyce), Carol (Ledane), and Corey (Vicky); six step-children, Mary Ann Mathis, Gary Hains, Mark Hains, Nannette Underwood, Bill Wilson, and Ann-Marie Wilson. Charley had 5 grandchildren, Tony, Kevin, and Jodi Johnson and Ian and Spencer Smith. He had many nieces, nephews, grandchildren, step-grandchildren, and step-great-grandchildren as well.

Charley was a true gentleman and will be greatly missed by all who knew him. Graveside inurnment services will begin at 11:00 a.m. on Monday, August 20, 2012, at McCleary Cemetery.

Please visit and sign the online tribute to Charley at

Arrangements are entrusted to Whiteside Family Mortuary in Elma.