Christian Johnson, 55, of Okanogan, Washington, passed away on Wednesday, October 2, 2019, from injuries sustained in the Spring Coulee Fire south of Okanogan on September 1, 2019.
Christian was born in 1963 in Salem, Oregon to James and Margaret Johnson. He grew up in Salem, graduating from South Salem High School in 1982. Christian began college at Oregon State University but felt he had a larger calling and joined the Army. Christian served from 1983-1986 in the 82nd Airborne Division, where he achieved the rank of sergeant. After being honorably discharged, Christian continued his duty by joining the Oregon Army National Guard. He then returned to college and graduated from Chemeketa Community College in Salem in 1988 with an A.A. in building inspection technology. Christian accepted a position as a building inspector in Washington for Okanogan County and later transferred as building official and permit administrator to the cities of Oroville, Tonasket, and Okanogan. He also transferred to the Washington National Guard where, along with his Charlie Company of the 1-161 Infantry Regiment, he deployed to Iraq from November 2003 to April 2005. Upon returning home, he retired from the National Guard after a total of 22 years of service. In Okanogan, Christian found another call to duty; in May of 1999, he joined the Okanogan Fire Department, where he served as the assistant fire chief.
Christian always lived life to the fullest and had many hobbies he was passionate about. To say he was a fanatic about fishing would be an understatement; there wasn’t a lake in Okanogan County that he hadn’t explored. He took to his family’s most treasured pastime and it showed, as almost all his photos are of him and his family fishing. He loved the outdoors no matter the weather; literally the weather did not matter. He loved riding his Harley all over the country.
Christian is survived by his wife, Pam; his daughter, Sheena; his father, James M; his brother, James W; his sister, Jeannette; nephews, TJ, Steven, Alexander, and Cody; nieces, Brandi and Maddie; and countless extended family, fire family, and friends. His mother, Margaret, preceded him in death.
Christian is deeply missed as the kind of guy who selflessly gave himself to his family, his friends, his community, and his country. He also just had a lot of fun! One of Christian’s mottos is, “People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”