Theodore Clark Johnson
Theodore Clark Johnson, former mayor of Hartford, passed away at home on Nov. 29, 2019, surrounded by his loving family, at the age of 83.
He was born in Ann Arbor, Mich., on May 15, 1936, to Eloise Fay Parker and Nelson Van Brunt and raised by Arthur Carl Johnson. He was lovingly taken care of by his mother and grandparents Clinton Clark and Eleanor Belle (Hardenbrook) Parker.
He grew up in Breedsville, went to school in Bangor and graduated from South Haven High School in 1954.
Ted married his childhood friend and sweetheart Donna Jean Drake on Nov. 3, 1956. They were married for 63 years. He moved to St. Joseph in 1954, where at the age of 18, began working as a lab technician for Whirlpool Corp. gradually through the years making Master Dryer Lab Technician. Ted retired from Whirlpool in 1998, where he continued on as a contract hire for an additional 10 years.
Ted and Donna moved to Hartford in 1971 when they purchased Donna’s Uncle Murl Haney’s home. This is when Ted became involved in community service. He served on the Hartford Fire Board and four years as a city commissioner. He was first elected mayor from 1980-1985 and returned to the chair in 1996 until 2017. He was honored and so proud to serve the community of Hartford and be recognized as the longest sitting mayor.
Ted was an excellent handyman and an amazing woodworker. He enjoyed and was quite proud of his home and of the sunroom that he built himself. He enjoyed working in his garage tinkering and building projects.
Ted is survived by his wife, Donna; two children: Terry Clark Johnson and Sally Lyn (Eric) Germinder, both of Hartford; grandchildren: Lena Nicole (Johnson) Jenkins, James E.C. Johnson, Ryne William (Shelly) Germinder, Cody Lee (Kayla) Germinder, and Cory Tyler (Priscilla Alvarez) Germinder; great-grandchildren: Olivia, Xavier, Elijah, Brian, Desirae and his buddy, Kyler William Germinder. In addition, he is survived by his wonderful brothers and sisters: A.L. “Lonny” Johnson of Grand Junction, Louise (Wayne) Nelson of Gobles, Elizabeth (Ed Bowen) Taylor of Bloomingdale, Chester Johnson of Grand Junction and George Parker.
Ted was preceded in death by his mother; grandchild, Christina Ann Johnson; sister-in-law, Joan Johnson; and brother, Carl Johnson.
Cremation has taken place and visitation for family and friends will be at Calvin Funeral Home in Hartford on Wednesday, Dec. 4 from 5 to 7 p.m. Burial will take place at Maple Hill Cemetery in Hartford at a later date. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations in Ted’s name may be made to the Hartford Fire Department or Caring Circle Hospice. Those wishing to leave memorial condolences for the family may do so at www.calvin-leonardfh.com.