Earl (Joe) Johansen
July 12, 1925 - June 13, 2009
Earl (Joe) Johansen was born in Oakland, CA to Johan and Edith Johansen. After his mother's death and his father's remarriage he moved to North Oakland. He played Baseball at Bushrod Park under the name of Joe Hansen, and pitched a no hit no run game in the Post Enquirer League. He graduated from Oakland Technical High School in 1943 and was a member of the ROTC. Upon graduation he joined the Navy and was sent to Boot Camp at Mare Island, Vallejo, CA, where he trained as a cook. He was assigned to the YMS 98 (Yard Minesweeper) during WWII and served in the Pacific and was ready to come home after 28 months when he was shanghaied to the YMS 327 two days before the YMS 98 went down in a typhoon at Okinawa with all but two hands aboard. He was discharged from the Navy in 1946. While in the Navy, he met Ellen Kriski, starting out as skating partners and ended up being partners for life getting married on August 31, 1947.
He moved to Stockton in 1951, working as a truck driver and forklift mechanic. He retired in 1992 from Gray Lift outlasting many supervisors and employees. He was an avid Bowler and bowled in the Nisei League for over 50 years as well as other leagues. He had a 300 Game to his name. He was a Photographer (Joe J's Photo's) at Delta Speedway, 99 Speedway and spent 8 years as photographer for the Legends of the Pacific. For 13 years he presented the Perpetual Trophy for the Gary Patterson Memorial (NARC) at Calistoga Fairgrounds.
He was a member of the Naval Minewarfare Association since 1994. In 1995 he located and traveled over many states meeting old shipmates from YMS 327, and kept in touch with others, including the two from the YMS 98. He loved to travel to various auto race tracks and stopped off in Laughlin, NV to play the slot machines. He was a regular going to Jackson Rancheria on the Delta Bus. He loved going to the Ports Baseball Games and watching the Thunder Hockey team.
Earl (Joe) is survived by his loving wife of 61 years, Ellen, his two daughters, Earleen Horning (Ft. Worth, TX) and Irene Gill (Barry) (Stockton, CA), 3 grandchildren and 8 great grandchildren.
Arrangements are being handled by ABC Wallace Funeral Service at 445 N. American St. Stockton, CA. There will be no funeral at his request and he will be buried at the San Joaquin Valley national Cemetery in Gustine, CA. Donations in his name may be made to Hospice of San Joaquin Butterfly Auxiliary, 4719 Quail Lakes Drive, Suite G-168, Stockton, CA 95207.
|Published in The Record on 6/17/2009