April 15, 1939 - September 4, 2023
Phil Johnson, beloved husband of Joan Johnson (nee Redknap) of Calgary, passed away by her side on September 4, 2023 at the age of 84 years.
He was the loving father of John Johnson and Orin Johnson, both of Calgary.
He will also be lovingly remembered by his brother Clifford, Clifford's wife Janice and their children, Phil's niece Lori Nordstrom (nee Johnson) and nephew Clay Johnson.
Phil was born in a small town near Camrose. He spent a few years on the family farm before his family moved to Creston BC. He credits his father and his uncles on the farm for his first early experiences repairing things. Being particularly slim afforded him the opportunity to climb into a combine to hold a wrench on a difficult fastener. Perhaps it was the excitement, challenge and success that day that was formative.
Phil started tinkering with electronics in his teenage years and collected every edition of Popular Electronics Magazine. Phil graduated from an electronics program at SAIT in 1963 and worked for the telephone company (AGT) in Calgary. He married Joan in Creston in 1964. Phil and Joan bought a house and started a family.
Phil worked for AGT for 32 years. In that time he scratch built a computer in 1975. He, etched copper clad circuit boards, built dozens of helpful gadgets and fixed countless TV sets and VCRs for friends - It seemed that there was nothing he couldn't fix or build from scratch.
The basement workshop always had a project or two on the go. This greatly influenced both his sons. Phil found an active inner peace when creating, building or making. His favourite place was always the workshop.
Phil retired in his mid-fifties. In the 20 years that followed Phil Joined the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada (RASC) Calgary chapter. He attended meetings, hosted telescope making workshops at home, built camera tracking platforms to compensate for the rotation of the earth while photographing stars, and travelled to Mexico, Australia and Idaho to chase and photograph total solar eclipses.
Phil and Joan organized an art show at IMCA called Year 2000 - In Light of the Past. With volunteers from the RASC and dozens of astrophotographs on the walls of the gallery, Phil built a telescope during the ten day show as a prize for a raffle.
Shortly after Phil's 80th birthday he was diagnosed with a very rare type of Vasculitis. A vigorous round of immunosuppressant medication and prednisone were necessary and daunting as Covid 19 emerged.
Phil got stronger for a while, until dementia started to claw back the gains. The course of medication came to an end and the vasculitis was controlled. Phil eventually required more care and moved into a care facility. While in care he caught Covid 19 (for 4 days) and seemed unscathed by it. Phil's family watched as the dementia took recognition, speaking, walking, standing and swallowing from him. Phil passed peacefully and silently with Joan by his side at the age of 84.
In Lieu of flowers, memorial donations to your charity of choice would be appreciated.
Phil's Celebration of Life was held in the workshop at Contemporary Calgary on Sunday September 24th, 2023. Beginning at 3pm. The microphone will be available to our guests after the Eulogy planned for 4pm.
Please feel free to share memories of Phil that you hold dear.
Workshop attire was Phil's favourite and is expected. Feel free to wear what is most comfortable or comforting.
If you would like to attend remotely by teleconference please contact Joan, John or Orin.