Rodney "Rod" Dale Johnson

Rod passed away at Landmark Care in Yakima, Wa. on August 24, 2019. He was 85 years old.

Rod was born in Kalispell, Mt., the youngest of six children. He grew up on a farm outside Kalispell, Montana, and attended Flathead High School. After high school Rod attended Montana State University in Bozeman, earning a degree in civil engineering in 1956. To finance his education he worked summers on wheat farms in eastern Montana and as house manager for Pi Kappa Alpha.

After college Rod went to work for the Northern Pacific Railroad in the engineering division, and then served his time in the U.S. Army. After the Army, he returned to the railroad and was accepted into their management program. In 1964 he left the railroad to work for the Washington State Department of Transportation. Rod worked 30 years for the DOT, retiring as Central Washington Project Development Engineer in 1994.

Rod married another Flathead High graduate, Joanne Hellman, in 1959, who he became reacquainted with while working in Spokane where she attended Sacred Heart School of Nursing. Rod and Joanne were married for 60 years, living primarily in Eastern Washington and retiring in Yakima.

Before and after retirement, Rod and Joanne travelled extensively both in the U.S. in an assortment of RVs as well as internationally, visiting a large swath of the explored globe. Rod had many interests beside traveling. He enjoyed white water rafting, including a memorable trip down the Grand Canyon with his sons where he ended up rowing his own raft after one of the party was hurt, and another memorable wilderness trip with his son down the Alsek Tatshenshini River. He enjoyed working on old cars and woodworking, especially making things for his granddaughters. He belonged to an early morning Toastmasters group for years and also enjoyed playing bridge.

Rod was preceded in death by his parents, four brothers and one sister. He is survived by his wife Joanne, sons Mark (wife Laura) and Larry, and grandchildren Ainsley and Althea.

A private family ceremony will be held on October 13, 2019 followed by a reception for family and friends at Valley Estates Clubhouse from 1:00-3:00 PM in Yakima at 1818 70th Ave.