The Daily Globe - Serving Gogebic, Iron and Ontonagon Counties

Burton Johnson


ONTONAGON, Mich. - Burton Johnson, 83, of Bruce Crossing, died on Sunday, Oct. 27, 2013, at Long-Term Care in Ontonagon.

Burton was born Dec. 21, 1929, in Laurium, the son of Ralph and Aleda Johnson. The family moved to Bruce Crossing in 1943.

On Dec. 6, 1947, he married the love of his life, Betty Niemi. The couple resided in Bruce Crossing, where he was in the cattle business (Johnson Livestock) with his father.

In 1954, they moved to White Pine, where he was employed at the White Pine Copper Mine and ran the Standard gas station with his brother, Louie. Moving back to Bruce Crossing in 1962, he went back into the cattle and farm implement business with his father, taking over Johnson Livestock in 1966. In 1977, they completed their dream log home in Bruce Crossing, which they sold and was eventually to become Gramma Grooters.

Burt then started a new business venture of logging. He employed several local loggers and owned his own logging equipment and log trucks. He became known to many as "Birds-Eye Burt." In the fall of 1988, they moved to their current home in Bruce Crossing. He retired in 1998, but you would still see an occasional tractor for sale in his yard from time to time.

Burt enjoyed bear hunting with his buddies from Bruce Crossing and Clayton, Wis. He also liked to fish when he found the time, which was most often when they spent their winters in Florida.

Burton is survived by his wife, Betty, of 65 years; son, Steven, of Bruce Crossing, daughter, Vicki (Al) Kurtti, of Bruce Crossing, son, Craig, of Nokomis, Fla., and daughter, Kay (Bruce) Gibson, of Bruce Crossing; grandchildren, Kelly, Shannon, Brina, Danika, Rhonda, Jared, Deana, Kara, Jordan, Amber, Katrina, Davin, Tara and Nicole; 16 great-grandchildren; one great-great-granddaughter on the way; brothers, Willie Johnson and John (Hazel) Johnson; sisters, Patsy Long and Suzy (Keith) Sackett; and his faithful little dog, Kikko.

Burt was preceded in death by his son, Brian; father and mother; brothers, Gerald, Donald, Lewis, Howard, Raymond, Michael, Franklin, Henry and Charles; and sisters, Barbara Thompson and Grace Anne.

A gathering of friends and relatives will be held on Saturday, Nov. 2, at 10 a.m. EDT, with a memorial service to follow at 11 a.m., at the Apostolic Lutheran Church in Paynesville.


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