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Friday, July 17, 2015

Funeral Mass on Saturday for Bernard “Bun” Johnson


A funeral mass will be held at St. Elizabeth Church on Saturday for World War II veteran and retired investment counselor Bernard “Bun” James Johnson who passed away on Friday, July 10th, at age 91.

Johnson, whom friends affectionately called Bun, was born May 19th, 1924 in Hawarden, Iowa, to Oscar C. Johnson and Bertice Eva Thompson Johnson.

He attended elementary and high school in Falls City, Nebraska. It was in Falls City that Johnson began his first successful business as a concessionaire for his father’s movie theaters.

He received his BA in Business Administration from UCLA and was a member of the Beta Theta Pi fraternity.

During World War II, Johnson served as a frontline infantry man and artillery scout with Company H, 78th Division, U.S. Army. His unit, the “Lightning Division,” fought in the most decisive battles of the war, among them The Battle of the Bulge, Battle of Ardennes, Belgium; Battle of Kesternich at the Siegfried Line and The Battle on the Remagen Bridge where he was among the first to cross the bridge. He was awarded the Bronze Star Medal for his service.

In 1952, Johnson married Mary Terese Ingraham of Santa Monica, California whom he met at Rope Tow #1 line on Mammoth Mountain.

Johnson began his stellar career in investment counseling in Pasadena in 1957 when he joined Bob Gillette Investments. Bob Kommerstad joined the firm later and their strong friendship and business relationship grew, ultimately developing into Provident Investment Counsel.

Johnson and Kommerstad built the growth stock specialist firm by recognizing good investments, matching them to the appropriate clients and providing an incentive driven and stimulating work environment for employees.

In 1982, Provident was recognized by the Wall Street Journal as the top performing institutional management firm in the United States.

Johnson early in life believed in contributing to his community through volunteerism and philanthropy. He served on the board of the Tournament of Roses , UCLA Chancellors Committee and the University Club of Pasadena. He was a member of the Los Angeles Society of Financial Analysts, Pasadena Rotary, Pasadena Foundation, Breakfast Forum at Caltech, Pasadena Photography Club and a founding member of the Grindlewald Ski Club.

Handsome, athletic and always meticulously groomed, Johnson possessed a quick wit and loved to tell a good story or joke. He found pleasure in soaking up sun while surrounded by newspapers, watching UCLA football and basketball. He and Mrs. Johnson navigated Mexican, Pacific, Alaskan, Atlantic, Gulf Coast, Great Lakes and Caribbean waters on their sport fishing boats, called Wild Coast and Reel World, and traveled the world extensively.

Johnson is survived by wife, Mary, sons Mark Johnson of Los Angeles and Philip Johnson of Tiburon, daughter Beth Johnson Wray of Red Bluff and their families including seven grandchildren; sister Shirley Henn of Orange and half-sister Sara Veigel of Nebraska.

A funeral mass will be held at St. Elizabeth Church in Altadena on Saturday, July 18th at 10 a.m. Graveside services at Mountain View Cemetery in Altadena will follow at 11:30 a.m. and then a celebration of life gathering at The University Club of Pasadena at 1 p.m.

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