Obituary of Bryan Randolph Johnson
Bryan R. (Phyllis Hunt) Johnson, 63, a resident of Chassell, passed away Monday, August 26, 2019, at UP Health System Portage in Hancock.
He was born on July 29, 1956, in Columbia, South Carolina to the late Charles and Aliese (Collins) Johnson. Bryan lived in several places as a military child. Some of these places included Japan and Germany. Once he had graduated from high school in Roseville, Michigan, he attended Michigan State University where he received his undergraduate degree in Anthropology.
Bryan enlisted with the United States Marine Corps and following his honorable discharge, he returned to school to earn his master’s degree in Library Science from Columbia University with a specialty in rare books and printing. He met his wife Phyllis when they both worked at the Hunter College Library in New York City. The couple married on March 26, 1983. When Phyllis had the opportunity to advance her career, they moved to Blacksburg, Virginia, where Bryan started a small business supplying Japanese bookbinding materials to fine press publishers and hobbyists. In 1989, Bryan and Phyllis moved to the Copper Country where he continued his company in South Range for several years. After closing the company, he pursued library opportunities in Montana. When Phyllis retired in 2008, he moved back to the Copper Country to pursue his dream of being a free lance writer.
Bryan was a man with many interests. He loved Japan and all things Japanese. He loved books, letter press printing, and handmade paper. Growing up, he discovered an early Twentieth Century author names James Willard Schultz, who wrote “Boys’ Books” about the Blackfeet. He maintained his passion for the author and the subject all his life. With a colleague, he compiled an annotated Blackfeet bibliography and he also compiled a Blackfeet dictionary. One of his last projects, in conjunction with Montana State University’s Museum of the Rockies, was to transcribe and write an introduction for all the out of print Schultz novels and make them available on the internet through Amazon. He finished all but one.
He was a voracious reader of both fiction and non-fiction but particularly liked books about the outdoors, the history of World War 1, science fiction, and alternative histories. He loved to play scrabble and played it online every day. Bryan also enjoyed watching Jeopardy, cooking shows, and any shows about storage garages. Before he developed mobility issues, he loved to hunt, fish and hike. He loved the outdoors and loved writing all about. It.
He was a member of St. Anne’s Episcopal Church in DePere, Wisconsin where he and Phyllis would travel often to be with their church family. Bryan was also a Life Member of the National Rifle Association.
Besides his parents, Bryan was preceded in death by his in-laws, Newell and Rosalind Hunt and a nephew, R.J. Nagel.
He is survived by his wife of 36 years, Phillis,
His Stepson; Andrew Bates
His grandchildren; Chloe and Michael Bates
His sisters; Cheryl (Bryan) Ryckeley, Julie (Paul Rzotkiewicz) Nagel
His brother Wayne (Louise)
Nephews; Aaron (Emily) Johnson, Brandon Ryckeley and Douglas (Linda) Hunt
Nieces; Alisha Nagel, Meghan Ryckeley, Jenny Charbonneau, Holly Darling and Robin (Rick) Reid
A memorial service for Bryan will be held 11am Thursday, August 29, 2019 at the Memorial Chapel Funeral Home in Chassell with Deacon Mary Lynn Adams to officiate. A visitation will be from 10am until the time of services at the funeral home.
To view this obituary or to send condolences to the family, please visit www.memorialchapel.net.
The Memorial Chapel & Plowe Funeral Homes of Chassell have been assisting the family with the arrangements.To send flowers to the family of Bryan Johnson, please visit Tribute Store