Philbert Errol “Phil” Johnson, 73, of Waterville, WA, passed away on August 9, 2020 after an enduring battle with multiple cancers. Phil was born on July 27, 1947 to Raynard “Ray” and Helen (Paxson) Johnson, in Aitkin Minnesota. Phil grew up primarily in Spokane, WA and then later Post Falls, ID where he graduated from Post Falls High School in 1965. Phil loved to fly, soloed at the age of 16 and flew continuously up until his illness in 2019.
To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Philbert "Phil" Errol Johnson, please visit our Heartfelt Sympathies Store.
Growing up, Phil’s parents owned and operated Johnson and Son’s Building Supply in Post Falls where he worked alongside his Dad learning the craft of construction. Phil also loved to build; framing was his favorite part of the process. He was a master carpenter and had an impressive ability of being able to calculate using only scratch paper and his head.
In 1966, Phil enlisted in the United States Army, where he served in two combat missions during the Vietnam War. In 1969 he was honorably discharged and almost immediately moved to Merigold, Mississippi to train as an aerial applicator. An instructor hired Phil for a job in North Carolina immediately following his training, where he worked for two seasons.
In 1973, Phil married Betty Ziegler, on December 15 after only six months of dating. Phil and Betty moved to Waterville, WA in 1976 where they raised their three children, owned and operated Johnson Air Service, Inc. and continued to build until retirement in 2015. Phil was active in the community of Waterville, having served on school board, fire department, sponsored youth sports, built numerous structures in and around the community of Waterville, and in an unofficial capacity, he was a resident encyclopedia and a trusted confidant and advisor. Phil demonstrated to us all what it took to be resilient and independent. Phil loved to read, and it was evident in most any conversation he had. Phil was always willing to lend a hand and never expected any help in return.
Phil enjoyed the simpler side of life. He valued his family and friends above all, with time on the golf course in a close second. Phil was an incredibly generous, humble and hardworking individual. Having a solid work ethic and a thirst for knowledge were two of his most important and prevalent characteristics. We are thankful to have had him contribute to our lives in a truly positive and constructive way and will forever love the giant force of nature he was. Phil genuinely had a wonderful life.
Phil is survived by his wife Betty of 46 years; his son Philip (Carlie) Johnson of Enumclaw, WA; grandsons Austin and Carter; daughter Wendy (Darrin) Nelson of Waterville, WA; granddaughter Hanna, grandson Ty and granddaughter Lexi; son Michael Johnson of Maple Valley, WA; mother Helen Johnson, of Spokane, WA; brother Jeff (Michelle) Johnson of Spokane, WA; brother Steve Johnson of Spokane, WA; sister Debbie Baugher of Spokane, WA; and sister Kim (Tim) Hargraves of Woodinville, WA; as well as numerous nieces and nephews, cousins and lifelong friends. Phil was preceded in death by his dad, Ray Johnson.
Graveside Services will be held on Friday, August 21, 2020 at 2:00 p.m., at the Waterville Cemetery, 523 E Elm Street, Waterville, WA 98858.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made in Phil’s name to:
Waterville Ambulance Fund - donations can be sent to their physical address:
P.O. Box 400
Waterville, WA 98858
Confluence Health Home Health and Hospice - donations can be sent via the donation button below or sent to their physical address:
Confluence Health Foundation
731 N Chelan Ave
Wenatchee, WA 98801