by Engineer of Knowledge
I wanted to pass on today a man named Cleo Lewis Johnson, 87, of Fairmont, Montana Mines Community, West Virginia who passed away Thursday, August 18, 2011 at Fairmont General Hospital. In 1924 Cleo Johnson parents bought a home with 11 acres of ground and they moved into their new home on July 3. Cleo Johnson was born the next day in that home on the 4th of July. His father being a union coal miner was able to do this for his family much unlike those across town who were not unionized. They had to live in company housing and purchace everything from the company store.
In World War II he served his country with the United States Army. Stationed in London, England during the German buzz bombing attacks on that city, stormed the beaches of Normandy on D-Day, and after fighting the Germans across France, he was sent to a quite wooded area to decompress for some R&R from battle. That quite wooded area was the densely forested Ardennes Mountains region and he was one of seven out of his whole company to survive the Battle of the Bulge German surprise counter attack. He almost lost his feet to frost bite during that battle. He was treated at the front by a medical unit and finished marching into the northern part ofGermany until they surrendered.
After he retruned home from war, he went to work and retired from Philips Lighting Company with 37 years of service working as a pipe fitter. He was past president of IUE AF&L CIO for many years and still worked for several years as a union organizer after that. He was also very involved in Republican politics and was a very active member within the Party for West Virginia. That’s right, a Union Organizer and Republican Party leader.
Growing up as the son of a West Virginia coal miner, he saw and knew well how far a corporation’s abuses could go if not kept in check by worker’s unions. That being said, he was a Republican in the original since of the word and not by the skewed priorities of it’s meaning today.
I am also proud to add that he was a member of the 32 Degree AF&A Mason Lodge 157 and a member of the Upper Mon Valley Shrine Club. Cleo was well known for his cheerful ways and charming personality. He was always a caring and giving person and volentered with much help to those in Fairmount and sorrounding areas. He will be missed.