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Accident didn't keep paramedic from serving

Stephen Huba
| Tuesday, Jan. 2, 2018, 9:51 p.m.

Ted Johnson did not let a life-threatening accident when he was 34 get in the way of a lifetime of service.

Mr. Johnson was burned over 50 percent of his body in an accident at a Boy Scout camp in Indiana County in 1963. He spent six months in a hospital and another six months off work as an installer for Bell Telephone Co., said his son, Douglas Johnson.

He was retrained as a switchman and transferred to the Greensburg office, where he worked until his retirement in 1989.

“He couldn't close his hand completely, but he persevered,” his son said.

Theodore A. “Ted” Johnson of Greensburg died Saturday, Dec. 30, 2017, at his home. He was 88.

Born Aug. 15, 1929, in Youngstown, Ohio, he was the son of the late Charles L. and Virginia (Kerr) Johnson. He grew up in Youngstown and Struthers, Ohio, and graduated from Woodrow Wilson Senior High School in 1948.

He joined the Army in 1949 and was sent to Korea, where he served from 1950 to 1952. He was discharged as a sergeant in 1953.

While working for Bell Telephone, Mr. Johnson got involved as a Boy Scout leader and a firefighter in Cherry Tree Borough. He became assistant fire chief in 1960 and was elected to borough council in 1962.

After his family moved to Greensburg, he got involved with the West Point Volunteer Fire Department and Mutual Aid Ambulance, where he served from 1966 to 1980. He attended paramedic school at Columbia University, was a first aid instructor and received arson investigation training in Somerset County.

“I remember going with him on ambulance calls when I was in high school. I think that's what got me interested in being a police officer (in Brockway, Jefferson County),” his son said.

He and his wife, June, had a business, June Bug and Teddbear Crafts, from 1994 to 2004.

He enjoyed doing clown and magic shows as Pixie the Clown.

Mr. Johnson was a longtime Mason. “He belonged to the Syrian Shrine, and he had one of those miniature tractor-trailers that he drove in parades,” his son said.

Mr. Johnson was preceded in death by his wife, June T. (Bartlebaugh) Johnson.

He is survived by his children, Douglas Johnson of Brockway, Rhonda Colgan of Johnstown, Dwight Johnson of Gulfport, Miss., and Geri Lee Stone of Forbes Road; 10 grandchildren; and three great-grandchildren.

Friends may call from 1 to 4 and 6 to 8 p.m. Wednesday at Barnhart Funeral Home, 505 E. Pittsburgh St., Greensburg. A funeral service will be held at 11 a.m. Thursday at Good Shepherd Lutheran Church, 501 Fairfield Drive, Greensburg.

Entombment with full military honors accorded by the VFW Post 33 honor guard will follow in St. Clair Cemetery, Greensburg.

Stephen Huba is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach him at 724-850-1280, shuba@tribweb.com or via Twitter @shuba_trib.

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