The Garden Island
Notice #: 0001342828-01
Funeral Notices


CAPT. Keith Vernon Johnson, USN (RET) passed away on 14 August 2021 in Seattle WA of natural causes at the age of 97. Son of Ernest V. and Leatha O. (Linn) Johnson, he was born on 12 December 1923 in Fremont, Nebraska. Keith attended schools in Saunders County, NE – District 7, Mead Consolidated, and District 57. He graduated from Arlington High School in 1941 and attended the University of Nebraska, Doane College and University of Washington.
On 23 November 1944, he married his high school sweetheart Marjorie A. Gilfry at Arlington, NE. The day prior, Keith received his commission as an ensign in the US Navy. He served in the pacific theater in WWII aboard the USS LST (Landing Ship Tank) 1073, and following that, he remained in the US Navy until his retirement in 1975. During the Korean Conflict, he served on destroyer USS Bradford, DD-545, and during Vietnam as Commander, Destroyer Division 112 out of Pearl Harbor, HI. His ashore assignments included critical staff positions and attaché assignments in London, England; Stockholm, Sweden; and Hong Kong.
Until moving to Seattle in 2019, Honolulu was home for Marjorie
and Keith. For many years, they wintered in Honolulu and summered in Mt. Vernon, WA where the family farm on Avon Allen Rd. served as base for travel. Keith was an avid tennis player and enjoyed playing until age 92; he was also the volunteer repair and maintenance man for many of the tennis courts in Honolulu. His love of tennis led to a second career as a Grand Prix tournament supervisor for the Men’s International Professional Tennis Council throughout the 1980s. He closed out this second career as Referee at the 1990 US Open. He then pursued genealogy and through extensive research established a worldwide network of family contacts, drawing people together and coordinating numerous family reunions.
He was preceded in death by his parents, infant son Kean Per, and his wife Marjorie. He is survived by his daughter, Cynthia Tia Linn Johnson and spouse Gayle Yamamoto; son, Leif Johnson and spouse Patricia McQuistion; grandchildren: Leif, Nicholas and Laura; great grandson Leif Brogan and his sister Shirley Benson.
At Keith’s request, there will be no public memorial services. Anyone wishing to make a donation in Keith’s memory is encouraged to do so at their local youth tennis program; Green Mound Cemetery, 1890 County Rd 12, Mead, NE 68041, Tel 402-443-5346; or Saunders County Historical Society, 240 Walnut, Wahoo, NE 68066, Tel 402-443-3090.