Obituary for William Johnson

William Johnson

It is with deep sadness that we share the loss of William Johnson of Cataumet, East Falmouth, and most recently, Dublin, Virginia on
June 27, 2023.

Bill was devoted to his wife of 29 years, Laney Cooke Johnson, his three stepsons Casey and Jesse Cooke and John Washburn, his grandchildren Ryan and Jace Washburn, his siblings and his extended Maine family. Bill grew up in Cataumet and spent his time either on the water or running through the streets of the village with his friends. Bill had an early love of the ocean and sailing and could skipper most any rig.

At age 8, Bill started “helping” at Parker’s Boat Yard in Cataumet. As he grew older, he be-came a much-sought crew member for races throughout the north- east, participating in the New- port to Bermuda several times. In 1982, he was asked to crew the sailboat Conjere across the Pacific and join the prestigious Sidney-Hobart Race. His love of the water led him to attend Tabor Academy and then Mass Maritime. He spent his career working tugboats along the East Coast and the Gulf of Mexico. Bill was an accomplished cook and was never more in his element than when he and his wife Laney were hosting a crowd. His family all carry memories of lavish Sunday dinners, elaborate holidays, and lobster cookouts on their deck where three or more generations would gather into the late summer nights. Guests were always welcome, the food was always elegant and plentiful, and laughter filled the hours.

As a 9 or 10-year-old child, Bill was given the nickname “Harry”, a reference to his luminous smile and beautiful brown eyes that recalled the actor Harry Belafonte. Among his family and oldest friends, the nickname stuck throughout his life. Bill was a tireless and devoted son to his mother Marie Johnson and to his much-adored aunt, Jeannette Thomas. Even in their declining years, he never failed to tease a laugh out of them. Bill retired to the mountains of Dublin, Virginia in 2021 and continued to host family there. He leaves the love of his life, Laney Cooke-Johnson, his three stepsons, Casey and Jesse Cooke and John Washburn and wife Kim of Sagamore, his grandchildren Ryan and Jace Washburn, his sib- lings, Helenka DeLuca and husband Chris DeLuca of Wareham, Joseph Johnson of Brooklyn, NY, Peter Johnson and wife Amina Johnson of Parkville, Maryland, and Marysia Messer and husband Tom Messer of Hatchville along with many nieces and nephews. He also leaves his much-adored Maine/New Hampshire family, the Bouchers and Pooles.

A celebration of life will be held at a later date. Bower Funeral Homes, Pulaski is handling the arrangements for the family.