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Beatrice E. (Tombaugh) JohnsonJune 11, 1926 ~ July 9, 2017 (age 91)
Beatrice Emma Johnson, 91, died July 9, 2017 at Marcus Daly Hospice Center.
Bea was born June 11, 1926 in San Diego, Ca. to Ray and Dorothy (Dot) Tombaugh.
She grew up in Descanso, Ca. and attended school in Descanso and El Cajon. After her graduation from high school, Bea entered the Navy nursing program. Just before the outbreak of WWII, Bea met her future husband, Oscar Johnson, at a dance in Descanso. Oscar was also a native of San Diego who grew up on a citrus and chicken ranch. He worked for the Civilian Conservation Corps, and joined the Marine Corps after the war started.
They married at the war's end in 1945, and together they raised three children, Charlie, Steve and Judy.
Bea worked as a store clerk in Sears, J.C. Penney's but as a store clerk she also covertly investigated embezzlement for the renowned Pinkerton Detective Agency.
Bea and Oscar loved their involvement in their community and in their children's lives. With other dedicated parents, Oscar and Bea built a ball field "field of dreams" from a dirt field, and dedicated their weekends to ball games with their kids.
When a neighbor child developed kidney disease, Bea and Oscar raised money to purchase a dialysis machine for the local hospital. When Steve was in Vietnam, his involvement with a local and destitute orphanage there inspired Bea and Oscar to donate an invaluable supply of boxes of toys and games, medicines and other supplies to the orphaned children.
Bea was a camper, a hunter, an angler and an adventurer. She was a lifelong member of Eastern Star, and a past Worthy Matron of both the Hamilton chapter and Missoula chapter, and had been active in Eastern Star since the 1950s.
In 1980, following Oscar's retirement as a federal firefighter, Bea and Oscar followed their three kids to the Bitterroot Valley. She was active in the Marcus Daly Memorial Hospital Auxiliary (Pink Ladies) for many years.
She was preceded in death by her parents, and by her husband, Oscar, in 1987. She is survived by her three children, Charlie (Karen); Steve (Betsy Saylor); and Judy (Dane Kendall); and grandchildren Jennifer and Brian Johnson, Saylor Johnson, Molly Burda, and Kaleb Johnson; great granddaughter Brittani Johnson. She is also survived by her sister Tillie DeVore, of San Diego, and by her dear companion of the past 25 years, Bob Schurr with whom she traveled the world.
She will be remembered at an Eastern Star ceremony with Bob Schurr officiating.
Interment will be at the Veteran's Cemetery in Missoula at 10 a.m., Wednesday, July 26. Arrangements are under the care of the Daly-Leach Chapel in Hamilton.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Emma's House at 800 N. 2nd St. in Hamilton.