Memorial Visitation- Thursday July 15, 2021 form 11 am - 2 pm & 4-8 pm at our Bayport Funeral Home, 683 Montauk Hwy.
Funeral Mass- Friday July 16, 2021 at 9:45 a.m. at Our Lady of the Snow RC Church, Blue Point.
Interment of Ashes- National Cemetery at Calverton
Arthur Richard Johann was born on Thursday, November 5th, 1936, at Bethany Deaconess Hospital in Brooklyn, NY, to Arthur I. and Catherine (Straus). He had three siblings Donald, Frances, and Robert, and resided many years on Jefferson Ave in Bushwick. He loved playing stickball in the streets with friends, many of whom he kept touch with his whole life. He was a die-hard Brooklyn Dodger fan and was known to show off one of his favorite possessions: a Jackie Robinson autograph he kept in his desk for his entire life. Summers were sometimes spent in Springfield, Mass. while his father worked as a singing waiter at Turner Park Hofbrau. The war shuttered the resort by 1942, as austerity and rationing took over. In 1945, Arte (“Bubba” to family), relayed his earliest memory of the B-17’s and B-24’s returning from Europe and how they blanketed the NY skyline, muting the sounds of the city with the drone of thousands of piston engines. Presumably, his love and fascination of aviation started there.
He graduated St. Martin of Tours took in 1950, followed by Bushwick HS in 1954. He got his A & P mechanic license from the Academy of Aeronautics in 1958. Starting his career at Lockheed Aviation located at Idlewild Airport, then to Republic Aviation in Farmingdale, working on the F-105.
He volunteered for the draft in 1959 and was mustered in at Fort Dix, NJ then stationed at Fort Ord, in Monterey, California. Discharged in 1960, he returned to NY, and resumed his job at Republic, but left it shortly after to work for the NY Telephone Company as a repairman. He worked seven years in and around Lower Manhattan, often taking his lunch under the statue of George Washington off Wall Street.
In 1968, he became one of “NY’s Finest”. Initially, assigned to the newly formed “Special Events Squad”, in 1971 he got the call to become a mechanic with the prestigious “Aviation Unit” based out of Floyd Bennett Field. Within a few years, he received his fixed wing private pilot’s license, then a commercial rating, ultimately becoming an instrument flight instructor. By the end of the 1970’s, he received his helicopter pilot license and for the next decade spent 6,000 hours above NYC patrolling the air. He finished his career as a Detective and Chief Pilot, setting the bar as the first of the dual rated, “flying mechanics” for the unit. He spent the summers in Ocean Bay Park, Fire Island with co-workers and friends, memories he frequently recalled.
He retired from the NYPD in 1988, then worked as a pilot for Thomson Industries. He had four children (Catharine, Heather, Arthur, and Eric) with his ex-wife, Ann DeMott (Hoernel). His oldest daughter, Catharine Ryan (Johann) followed in his aviation footsteps and became a helicopter pilot with the United States Coast Guard. He loved his children, traveling to every sporting event around Long Island and to their different colleges across the country. He lived in Bayport for 35 years, spending most of his time at Bayport Aerodrome where he flew his Cessna 172. He would often be seen riding his bike around town, he was the guy with the bright white beard who talked to everybody. He loved softball, playing until he was well into his 70’s, often bragging that he was faster than “those other old guys.” He had encyclopedic knowledge of classic movies and music, spending many nights watching TCM, even traveling to Los Angeles for their yearly festival. He became a fixture in the community as a man with unceasing kindness and a passion for flight, of which he shared both freely.
He passed away at home on July 10th, in the presence of his family. He will be remembered for his humor, smile, talent and undying love for his family, friends and four grandchildren.
To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Arthur R. Johann, please visit our floral store.
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