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Rev. Lester Johnson
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Reverend Lester C. "Pastor Les" Johnson, 91, a resident of Escalon for the past 28 years, passed away on Sunday morning, March 2, 2008 in San Antonio, Texas.

He was born in 1916 in Bruning, Nebraska to Carl and Mary Johnson. From the time he was seven or eight years old he wanted to study for the ministry. He graduated from Wartburg Seminary in Dubuque, Iowa in 1944 and for the years to follow he was the pastor at congregations in South Dakota, Colorado and Los Angeles. He was also a hospital administrator with Hospital Corporation of America, serving in Texas, California and Florida. He and his wife Mattie retired to Escalon in 1980 where he enjoyed being active in Saron Lutheran Church, traveling and gardening.

He is survived by his children, Judith and James Hinkhouse of Houston, Texas, James and Bonnie Johnson of San Antonio, Texas, John and Myra Johnson of Broken Arrow, Oklahoma, Joel and Helen Johnson of Kerrville, Texas, and Mary and Larry Le Grand of Escalon; his siblings, Clarence Johnson of Michigan, Frank Johnson of Nebraska, Helen Johnson and Faye Thaete, both of Colorado Springs; nine grandchildren and 11 great grandchildren.

He was preceded in death by his parents, his wife Mattie in 2003, and his sisters, Iola Nolte and Lillian Carnahan.

A graveside service will be on Monday, March 10 at 10 a.m. at Burwood Cemetery, Escalon with his memorial service following at 11 a.m. at Saron Lutheran Church, Escalon.

In loving memory donations may be sent to Saron Lutheran Memorial Fund at 1742 North St., Escalon, CA 95320.

Arrangements by Deegan Funeral Chapel, Escalon.

The Escalon (Calif.) Times

March 5, 2008