It is with great sadness that the family of Walter Francis Johnson announces his passing on June 8, 2022, at the age of 76. Walter died peacefully of natural causes, surrounded by family.
Walter was born January 5, 1946, on the former US Navy base, Camp Shoemaker in Alameda, CA, to Dorothy Johnson (née Russell) a WW II Navy WAVES (Women Accepted for Volunteer Emergency Service) and Walter Joseph Johnson, a US Navy Seabee who became a steamfitter.
Walter grew up in Rockaway Beach and Massapequa Park, NY (Alfred G. Berner High School class of 1964). He enlisted in the U.S. Navy in 1964 and was selected for the Silent Service and completed scuba training, extensive damage control, nuclear engineering, and shipboard hazard training. He served as Engineman 2nd class and rescue diver aboard the submarine USS Pickerel SS-524, conducting sensitive operations in support of the U.S. Navy activities during the Vietnam War. He was honorably discharged in October 1970. His awards include the National Defense Service Medal and Vietnam Service Medal.
After his military service, Walter married his beloved wife Claudia (née Connolly) in 1971. They raised three daughters in Oakdale, NY and were together for 49 years until her passing in 2020. Walter followed in his father’s professional footsteps and in 2019, celebrated 50 years with the Steamfitter’s Local 638 union.
Walter is survived by his three children, Frances Fiore, Erin Johnson Oettinger, and Alanna Johnson, four grandchildren Enzo, Giovanni, Scarlett, and Bruno, his sons-in-law Frank Fiore and Marc Oettinger and by his younger brother, Kevin T. Johnson, as well as his large extended family of sisters-in-law, nieces and nephews and many friends.
A funeral mass will be held on Friday, June 10, 2022 at 10am at St. Lawrence the Martyr Church in Sayville, NY, followed by burial at Calverton National Cemetery. A Celebration of Life reception will be held on Sunday, June 12, from 5pm to 9pm at the Irish Coffee Pub, located at 131 Carleton Ave, East Islip, NY.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be sent to the United States Submarine Veterans Charitable Foundation, Inc.