New Sweden, ME – Lendal Charles Johnson passed away on Friday, October 1, 2021, at his home in King, NC, with his beloved family by his side.
Lefty was born October 23, 1932, in New Sweden, ME, to the late Joseph and Myrtie (Ek) Johnson. He attended the one room schoolhouse in Jemtland and Caribou High School. He proudly served in the military and was a US Army Veteran. Upon completion of his military service, he returned to the family farm where he raised potatoes for many years. When he ended his farming career he was employed at Loring AFB where he worked on airplane fuel systems. He drove school bus for New Sweden and transported students at the Job Corps. For several years he enjoyed helping with the blueberry harvest in coastal Maine.
Lefty was an avid x-country skier. To encourage others to love and enjoy the sport as much as he did, he created ski trails at his farm in New Sweden which many high school students and community members enjoyed for several years. He was involved in the development of the Island Trail at Madawaska Lake and maintained it with his hand made drag for many years. He was instrumental in the start-up of Nordic Lakers and the Westmanland Ski Race. He participated in many ski races in Maine and Canada. One of his greatest accomplishments and something he was very proud of were the bronze, silver and gold medals that he earned when he participated in the Canadian Ski Marathon, in which he would ski 50 miles, camp out in the snow overnight and ski another 50 miles.
Lefty enjoyed running and trained for many marathons and half marathons often winning in his age division. He participated in area 5K races and was a member of Moose Tracks for several years. He was a bicyclist and continued riding, often biking 20 or more miles per day, into his eighties. Kayaking was another sport that he loved, and he spent many summers kayaking area lakes, streams and rivers.
Lefty enjoyed camping in coastal Maine, especially the Bar Harbor area, where he could run and bike in Acadia National Park. He loved to watch high school basketball and could often be seen at Caribou High School and other area high school games. He enjoyed going to the basketball tournaments in Bangor where he would cheer on all the County teams. He was a lifelong member of the Red Sox Nation and barely missed a Red Sox game whether he was watching their games on TV or listening to them while on his tractor planting, tending to or harvesting potatoes.
In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by his son, Bruce Johnson, a brother, Gordon Johnson, and a sister, Carola Bjork.
Left to cherish his memory is his wife, Deleen Smith Johnson; his daughter, Shelly Hethcoat and her husband, Charles; his daughter-in-law, Candace Johnson; three sisters: Leatha Griffeth, Lois Gordon and Eunice Tompkins; four grandsons: Zebadiah Johnson, John Hethcoat, Sidney Hethcoat, Corey Hethcoat (Sarah Bissell); three granddaughters: Rachel Hethcoat, Chelsea Hethcoat (Ron Robbs-Salley Jr), Bridget Sherman (Steven); eight great grandchildren and several nieces and nephews. He leaves behind a special nephew, Myron Bjork, whom he shared many morning coffees with where they enjoyed talking about sports.
A private graveside service will be held at a later date.
Slate Funeral Home is honored to serve the family of Lendal Charles Johnson. Online condolences may be offered at www.slatefh.com
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