Obituary: Kenneth Arthur Johnson

It was with such sadness that family, friends, neighbours and members of the fire service heard of the death of Kenneth Arthur Johnson, fondly known to all as Ken.

He passed away on January 6 at Lincoln County Hospital aged 73.

Born in Wragby on 19 August 1939, eldest son to the late Arthur and Phyllis Johnson, the family lived on the Bardney Road. He was educated in the Old Grammar School on the Louth Road, then the school on Church Street before moving to the secondary school in Horncastle. From an early age he was interested in anything mechanical, learning many skills from his dad and granddad. The family had a long tradition of serving the local community and had built the first fire-tender in their garage.

Ken grew up during the war years, often watching the planes passing over, having taken off from Wickenby. Sometimes the pilots visited the family home and were known to enjoy playing with Ken’s train set. Aged five, he was out with his dad near Burgh Le Marsh when their vehicle was machine gunned by a German plane, luckily they escaped unscathed.

Upon finishing school he spent a year in local farming, driving tractors. He then went to work in the family garage, using his knowledge and interest to repair vehicles. At the young age of 17 he joined the local fire brigade, following in the footsteps of his dad, granddad and great granddad, serving for some 40 years.

In 1962 Ken met Ann and in 1965 the couple married at Limber. They set up their first home at Hillcrest at Holton, together making it a very happy home for their sons John, Neil and David.

There were so many happy memories of family holidays, Christmases at home with Ken loving being with his sons. In quieter moments he took great pleasure in restoring and riding classic motorbikes.

He was also interested in oil engines and game shooting. He had a very logical mind and was always busy making things.

Ken worked at the family garage throughout the years, helping repair and mend numerous cars for the local people. His service with the fire brigade saw him promoted to leading fireman in 1964 and sub-officer in 1970, as his dad before him. There were so many examples of his dedication, rescuing an injured worker from near the top of the Belmont Transmitter – the tallest structure in the UK. Then there was the Flixborough incident when he and the Wragby crew worked for 72 hours without sleep. In 1995, coming towards the end of his career he was back at the Belmont Transmitter for another rescue but that time he was officer in charge. Over the years he trained and encouraged numerous other firefighters. With his dedication to the fire service it was fitting that his coffin was transported to the church on the vintage fire appliance - Betsy.

Ken is now survived by his wife Ann, and sons – John, Neil and David and will be sadly missed by so many.

The service of thanksgiving for the life of Ken Johnson was held at All Saints Church, Wragby on January 22, 2013, officiated by Rev Mark Holden, followed by internment at Wragby.

Family mourners were:

Ann Johnson – wife, John and April Johnson; Neil and Carrie Johnson; David and Sarah Johnson – sons and daughters-in-law, James Johnson; Sam Johnson; Tyler Johnson; Bailey Johnson – grandsons, Lennard and Joyce Hubbard – aunt and uncle, Trevor and Susan Reynolds – cousin and husband, Mrs Annie Dixon - cousin,

Names taken at Church:

Organist – Sheila Cartwright, Mr & Mrs Mike Taylor, John Kane – also representing Mr s Margaret Kane, Andrea Ward – also representing Brenda Bodily, Dorothy Warr – also representing Dave Warr, Mr & Mrs Alan Smart, John Edwards – also representing Lynne Edwards, Denis Edwards, Andrew Wylie, Bernard Scott, Geoff Hill – also representing avid Hill, Ann Green, Jim Sutherland, Gail Everton – also representing Craig Everton; P Steel and Martin Chambers, Rita Dixon, Jayne Ingall, Vicky James – also representing Geoff James, Mr G Hutchinson – also representing Helen Hutchinson, Linda and John Bell, Ray King, Susan Wynter, Tracey Cowman, Andrew Dixon, Suzanne Lowman also representing the Lowman family, Mr B Hinchliffe, Jo Knowles – also representing the family, Johnny and Kay Franklin – also representing Market Rasen Salvation Army; Mr & Mrs Robinson, Jessie Skellern, Mr & Mrs Sales, Ann Harris, Mr A “Titch” Lee, Mr & Mrs Norman Hopper, Mr & Mrs Geoff Ward, Doug Clark – also representing Pauline Cooper; Lisa and Kim Clark, Nathan Clark, Ron Segasby, Mr & Mrs Steve Alcock, Mr D Howsam, Baz Bruntlett, Andrew Segasby – also representing Caroline & Rodney Hydes, Paul Smith, Mr & Mrs Schmitt, Edie Martin – also representing Mr & Mrs Martin, Mr & Mrs B Percival, Judy and Robert Gibson-Bevan, Alf Shaw, Eileen Espin, Adrian Espin, Mr & Mrs A till – also representing Sarah and Andrew Hill; Mr & Mrs B Andrew, Keith Stephenson –also representing the Stephenson family, Mr A Johnson, Mr R Graham, Geoff Bolton – also representing Neil Burnett, David and Mary Gray – also representing Mr Peter Phillipson, Mr A Dixon, Mr Alf Shaw, Mr Paul and Sue Johnson, Janice Bones, Mandy & Glyn Buxton-Rockley – also representing Tom Buxton-Rockley and Melissa Davis, Sam Buxton-Rockley and Emma, Graham Osborn, Mr and Mrs Mick Sandaver, Mr D Briggs –also representing Barbara Briggs, Mr K Alcock, Mr S Alcock, Sue Whittaker, Mr & Mrs D Brown, Margaret Saunders – also representing Kathy Lowe, Mr & Mrs Russ Millson, Martin & Hilary Farley, Jean Lomas – also representing Ged Lomas, Diane Ward – also representing Phil Ward, Georgina Laming – also representing Jean Ward, Eric Sergeant – also representing Margaret Sergeant, Ann Hauton – also representing the Hauton family, Mr R Shuttleworth, Mr & Mrs Mike Steer, Sally Laughton – also representing Alan Laughton, Jo Holden – also representing Miss Michelle Bruntlett, Mr & Mrs A Bates, Mr & Mrs Malcolm Johnson, Mr & Mrs Fred Robinson, Mr & Mrs Swift, Alan Humphries, David Westbury, Mr R H Wylie, Alan Shepherd, Brian Lingard – also representing Ann Lingard; Mr & Mrs Sam Humberstone, Carol Pask, Johnny Dixon, Carol Bullivant, Lynne Patrick – also representing Philip Patrick, Barbara Scott, Joyce Stott – also representing John Stott and family, Marina Keal – also representing the Keal family, Jean Tring, Hazel Holden,Sarah Bellhouse, Paul Marshall, Mr & Mrs David Ingamells

And others:

Fire Crew: Chris Lowe, Matt Bruntlett, Kevin Bridges, John Papworth, Spencer Chapman, Alan Bruntlett, Jason Bierline, Kathy Dunn, John Wilson, Andy Franksih, Mr Buttery, Lyn Strydon, Gill O’leary, Mark Raynes, John Bell, Jack Whittaker, Johnny Boothby

Funeral arrangements were made by Marshall Funeral Directors of Market Rasen..