Fender factory in Fullerton, late 1950s
Ben Johnson, 1919-2016
Ben joined his brother Joe Johnson in running Fullerton Motor Parts for over 40 years.

 

Johnson, Benjamin A. died in Fullerton on October 28, 2016 at the age of 97. Ben and his wife Carolyn E. Johnson were longtime Fullerton residents. Ben was born April 17, 1919 in Whittier, was raised in Yorba Linda, and attended Fullerton High School and Fullerton Junior College. He met Carolyn while attending U.C. Berkeley. They were married for almost 71 years. 

 

His Quaker upbringing meant that he chose to register as a conscientious objector at the onset of World War II but later joined the effort and served in the Army Air Corps in the Pacific Theatre.

 

Ben and Carolyn returned to Fullerton after the war, and Ben joined his brother Joe Johnson in running Fullerton Motor Parts for over 40 years.

 

Ben was a rancher at heart, having been raised in Yorba Linda on a citrus and avocado ranch. He continued to enjoy managing his own citrus orchards in Fullerton and Yuma, Arizona, as well as cultivating fruit in his garden in Fullerton. 

 

Ben and Carolyn enjoyed camping and traveling throughout the United States and Canada with their three daughters. After their girls entered college, the Johnsons began to travel the world, exploring such exotic locales as Bali, Egypt, Yugoslavia, and Guatemala. In addition, they established a tradition of taking their family to Hawaii for New Year's.

 

Ben was the son of Fred and Caroline Johnson of Yorba Linda. He was predeceased by his parents; by his siblings Helen Harwood, Joe Johnson, Anna Spencer, Bob Johnson, and Russell Johnson; and by his wife Carolyn. He is survived by his daughters and sons-in-law, Robin & Tony Hunter of Los Angeles, Anne & Stan Neal of Auberry, and Dee & Guy Near of Merced. Also surviving him are his beloved grandchildren and their spouses: Elizabeth & Andrew Covington of Wellington, New Zealand, Christopher Hunter and Jen Jahner of Pasadena, John Neal and Dorothy Thai of Oakland, Hilary Near of Oakland, and Carrie & Garrett Wilkerson of Concord. In addition, he leaves his two great-grandchildren, Everett Hunter and Abigail Covington.

 

A memorial gathering will be held Saturday, November 12th at 11:00 AM at the Fullerton First United Methodist Church, 114 North Pomona Ave. Fullerton, CA.

 

Donations in his memory can be made to American Friends Service Committee, AFSC Development, 1501 Cherry St., Philadelphia, PA 19102; Habitat for Humanity of Orange County, 2200 S. Ritchey St. Santa Ana, CA 92705; or Sierra Foothill Conservancy P.O. Box 691 Mariposa, CA 95338.

 

 

Published in Orange County Register from Nov. 6 to Nov. 10, 2016.

 

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