Wednesday, August 12, 2020

Kenneth Douglas Johnson

He was born Kenneth Douglas Johnson, of a farm family during the depression years in Plainwell, Michigan, in a Salvation Army hospital, in Grand Rapids, Michigan, to Frances Helen Glynn on  January 17, 1931.

From ages 14 to 19, he worked part time for retail stores and other labor jobs.  He also delivered coal at a local feed store, and working nights at local and Kalamazoo bowling alleys.  He once worked for the New York Central and the Pennsylvania Railroads, doing track laying and maintenance labor, of which the only comfort was sitting on the railroad tie and eating a cold sandwich in a minus 20 degree storm storm.  He once made application to the local office of the Royal Canadian Police as a janitor.  One of his last jobs was working for the Plainwell Valley Metal Products Company assembly line and drafting work.

1946 - 1947, During his high school years he attended Kalamazoo College Night School in the machine shop drafting and automotive mechanics trades.  He graduated from High School at the age of 17.  At age 19 he and two other classmates joined the U.S. Air Force and after two weeks of basic training at Lackland A.F.B., San Antonio, Texas before being sent to McDill A.F.B., Tampa, Florida to await 1 1/2 years for his security clearance to top secret so that he could enter communications school at Scott A.F.B., in Bellview, Illinois, near St. Louis, Missouri.  Returning to McDill A.F.B., Tampa, Florida he later went on a short trip movement overseas to Gander A.F.B. Newfoundland.

Upon leaving the Air Force with an Honorable Discharge, with a rank of Airman First Class (A/1C); he re-enrolled at Florida Southern College, Lakeland, Florida in 1954.  During this time as a full time student he preceded to work in several various engineering type drafting fields.  Some were with the Florida Highway Department, and an aircraft mechanics helper at Bartow A.F.B., Florida.  During this period at college, he started a photographic business catering to student activities.  After three years he left college and moved to Orlando where he worked for the next 23 years in the Aerospace/Defense fields for 11 Aircraft and Electronic Companies and Cape Canaveral, Florida, doing engineering drafting, photographic and graphic arts proposal work.

1980-1986, During this time in 1980, while working for the Walt Disney Company as a design draftsman under the supervision of three directors, that Ken reapplies to F.S.C. to continue his undergraduate studies and in 1983 graduated with a B.S. degree in Business Administration.  At this time (1983-1986),  he continued his schooling with Webber College, Babson Park, Florida, graduating with a Masters Degree in Business and Marketing/Advertising, completing both degrees in a short 6 years.  In the next two years he became Florida Certified to teach K-12 in schools.

1971 to Present, As a lifetime member of the National Rifle Association and as a member of the Central Florida Rifle and Pistol Club; he served 14 years as an executive officer organizing and promoting several monthly matches and participating in many meetings across the state earning him various classifications.  Ken and eight other members were instrumental in moving the club to its present Orlando location from the Windermere, Florida area.  In about 1979, they established the first 600 year high power rifle range in Florida, helping to benefit the Florida High Power Association.

1986 to Present, Reproduction of the Southern News, a college newspaper, Lakeland, Florida printed:  In 1983 Kenneth "Ken" Johnson retired in 1996 after working for Orange County as an engineering technician in the design engineering department.  Ken began his studies at FSC in 1954 but worked for 23 years int he Defense Aerospace Industry receiving training in drafting, electronics, engineering, accounting, business, and technical illustrating before returning in 1980 to complete his degree.  He then went on to earn a Masters degree from Webber College.  In 1986 Ken was substituting in the Orange County School system 2 or 3 days a week.

Mr. Kenneth Johnson is survived by two half brothers, David A. Flora of Plainwell, Michigan, Jeffrey E. Flora of Kalamazoo, Michigan; and a half sister Darlene A. Takacs of Rossville, Georgia.  

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