Ben ‘Bennie’ Johnson

BARK RIVER – Ben “Bennie” Johnson, 93, of 1215 12th Road, Bark River, passed away Friday, Aug. 2, 2013, at St. Francis Hospital.

Ben was born on Sept. 6, 1919, the son of Axel and Julia (Anderson) Johnson in Escanaba. He was one of 10 children and lived most of his life in the Perronville area. Ben was a kind, gentle man who loved his family, the outdoors and baseball. One of his and Marie’s favorite pastimes was watching as much baseball as they could, especially the Detroit Tigers and the Minnesota Twins.

During his life, he worked at various occupations: semi-pro baseball, woods work, construction and fur trapping. He crafted collectors quality bear traps and was profiled in various publications for his vast knowledge of the sport. He also enjoyed playing his guitar and singing and writing poetry. For quite a few years he was a gunsmith.

Ben worked in Ohio, Menominee County and Drummond Island. He was also employed for the VanEnkevort Boat Lines.

Ben Johnson married Marie Constantineau at St. Michael’s Church in Perronville on Sept. 16, 1944.

In his younger years he was active with Tri-County Baseball League as a pitcher and shortstop at Perronville, Bark River and Powers.

Survivors include: wife, Marie of Bark River; daughters, Marijeanne (Bob) Swift and Sally (Bill) Lantagne; brother, Don Johnson; sisters-in-law, June Constantineau and Izetta Johnson; grandsons, Jeremy (Sarah) Lambert, Jay (Lisa) Lambert, and great-granddaughter, Lindsey Lambert; nephews, Bill, Alan, Mitchell, Tom and Ron Johnson; nieces, Jill Zeno, Linda Couillard, Sue Wanic and Lois Lucaniello.

He was preceded in death by his parents; brothers, Arthur, Cliff, Glenn and Kenneth “Kelly”; sisters, Helen, June, Martha and Thelma; nephew, Kent Johnson.

Visitation will be held Tuesday, Aug. 6, from 3 to 5:30 p.m. at the Crawford Funeral Chapel in Bark River.

The Mass of Christian Burial will follow at 6 p.m. at St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Church with Rev. Darryl Pepin officiating. A luncheon will be served following the Mass in the church hall. Burial will be at Sacred Heart Church in Schaffer.