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Paul Larry Johnson

March 12, 1926 - May 16, 2019



Paul Larry Johnson of Mesick passed away Thursday, May 16, 2019 at Cherry Hill Haven Assisted Living in Traverse City. He was 93.

Paul was born March 12, 1926 in Columbus, Ohio to Otis L. and Iva Elizabeth (Simkins) Johnson and they preceded him in passing. On December 13, 1947 in Greenup, Kentucky he married the former Nancy Sue Abernathy and she preceded him in passing on January 20, 2016.

He served as a combat marine during World War II earning the rank of corporal. Mr. Johnson was proud to be at Iwo Jima when the flag went up. He was a longtime resident of Mesick and established Johnson’s Fur Company with his wife Nancy, in the early 1960’s and continued to be a lifetime trapper. At one point Mr. Johnson was the largest fur buyer in Michigan and earned a spot in the National Trapper Hall of Fame. In the 1970’s they established Johnson Canoe Livery.

As a boy he held the title as state runner up marble champion. Even after moving to Michigan he was a lifetime Buckeye. Mr. Johnson was also an avid hunter, hunting in Northern Michigan and taking trips to Alaska and Canada. He was a member of the Mesick United Methodist Church for many years. Mr. Johnson was also a member of the American Legion and a lifetime member of AMVETS Post 120 in Mesick.

He is survived by their children: C. Larry (Peggy) Johnson of Mesick, Robert W. (Christine) Johnson of Lake Ann, Patty S. (James) Casselman of Mesick; grandchildren: Charles (Katie) Boyer, Tom (Jennifer) Johnson, Scott (Serena) Johnson, Jennifer (Donald) Flohe-Payne, Jeremy (Katie) Casselman, Carrie Casselman, Kallie Casselman and Joshua (Jennifer) Johnson; 15 great-grandchildren and many nieces and nephews.

In addition to his parents and wife he was preceded in death by a daughter, Debby K. Johnson; a grandson, Kenneth Casselman.

Memorial services will be held 2:00 PM Friday, June 14, 2019 at Mesick United Methodist Church with Pastor Travis Heystek officiating with full military rites under the auspices of the Cadillac Area Honor Guard. Friends may meet the family one hour prior to the service at the church. His final resting place will be Antioch Township Cemetery.

Memorial contributions may be made to AMVETS Post 120 in Mesick. An online guestbook is available at

Guest Book

  • Erin (Stanley) Patrick - Jun 1st, 2019 11:24 pm

    "My condolences to the family! Mr Paul shared so many of his Marine Corps stories and photos with me and I will always carry those memories with me. He will be missed tremendously. Semper Fi "

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