After a courageous seven year fight with cancer, Alfred D. Johnson, 72, of Billings, died in his home on Jan. 14, 2011, surrounded by family and friends.
Al was born Sept. 1, 1938, in Fort Yates, N.D. He was the youngest of eight children born to Bertram and Marie (Huse) Johnson. Al graduated from Billings Central Catholic High School in 1957. He attended Carroll College in Helena.
On Aug. 5, 1962, Al married Phyllis Knutson in Las Vegas.
Al was a devoted husband, father and grandfather always seen in the crowd cheering on his grandchildren as they played basketball, baseball, soccer, football or performed in dance recitals. In addition to his love for his family, Al enjoyed hunting, fishing, collecting Lionel HO trains and traveling throughout the United States. He and Phyllis visited many favorite locations, including Alaska; the Grand Canyon; the New England states in the autumn; Branson, Mo.; Minnesota and Montana.
Al worked his entire 37-year career as a telephone technician and manager with Mountain Bell/Qwest.
Al is survived by his wife, Phyllis Johnson; daughters Debi Orelup (Wade) and Donna Peters (Larry); grandchildren Kristen Orelup and Gairrett Orelup, both of Bozeman, Jamie Jaeger (Staff Sergeant Dallas) of Nellis Air Force Base and Senior Airman Eric Peters of Little Rock Air Force Base; great-granddaughters Elizabeth and Aleyah Jaeger (born Jan. 14, 2011); sisters Mary Jacobsen of Billings, Kim Parker of Fletcher, N.C., and Odile Crandall (Keith) of Alamo, Calif.; sisters-in-law Julia Howe of Billings, Lou Johnson of Billings, Marion Johnson of Eugene, Ore.; Sharon Swanson of Las Vegas, Nev., and Karen Knutson of Bozeman; brother-in-law Pete Knutson of Clyde Park, Mont.; numerous nieces and nephews; and caring neighbors and friends.
He is preceded in death by his parents Bertram and Marie; and his brothers Leo, Frank, Chuck and Bob Johnson.
Al will be greatly missed by his family and friends. He will leave a void in their lives and be in their hearts forever.
Al requested cremation. A memorial service will be held at St. Pius Church in Billings on Monday, Jan. 17, at 11 a.m.
Memorials may be made to RiverStone Hospice or charity of choice.