George G. Johnson Sr., 82: Lobsterman, sports enthusiast, family man

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BAILEY ISLAND — George G. Johnson Sr., 82, died unexpectedly June 25 at Parkview Adventist Medical Center in Brunswick.

On April 7, 1927, he was born on Bailey Island, a son of Harvey and Lizzie (Gregory) Johnson.

After graduating from Brunswick High School, he served with the Merchant Marines during World War II, and was later drafted into the U.S. Army during the Korean War.

In addition to being a self-employed lobsterman for 65 years, he and his wife, Norma Jean, owned and operated The Johnson B&B and Cottages until her death in 1995. 

In 2001, he reconnected with his former teenage sweetheart, Peggy, and they married two years later.

This past January, he was proud to have been featured in an article, “Meaning of Life 2009,” in Esquire magazine and was often seen sharing the article with friends and strangers alike.

He and his son Carl were also featured in a documentary created by Paul Goodman of Carnegie Mellon University in the 1990’s called “The Lobsterman,” which was distributed to schools throughout the country.

He was a member and past commander of the V.F.W., a member of the Maine Lobsterman’s Association, and served on the board of directors for St. Charles Credit Union, now known as Mid Coast Credit Union. 

A devoted family man and sports enthusiast, he was known for piling friends and family into his station wagon for trips to see the Red Sox play at Fenway Park.

His hobbies included playing cribbage with friends and bowling in the Fisherman’s League.

He was predeceased by his first wife, Norma Jean (Miller) in 1995, and a sister, Jeannette Soper.

Surviving are his wife, Dorothy “Peggy” Bello of Bailey Island; three sons, George Johnson Jr., and his wife, Debbie, David A. Johnson and his wife, Darla, and Carl E. Johnson, all of Bailey Island and two daughters, Joan Smith and her husband, Adam of Bailey Island, and Mary Cleo Fortier and her husband, Michael of Strafford, N.H.; two brothers, Albert and Granville, both of Bailey Island, and one sister, Barbara Ashley of Olympia, Wash.; eight grandchildren, David Johnson Jr., Joshua Smith and his wife, Kimberly, Erin Johnson, Audrey S. Johnson, Chelsea Jean Johnson, Alice Belle Johnson, Samuel Fortier, and Sarah Jean Fortier; his stepchildren, Edward Bello, Elaine Bello, Laurie Bello, Amie Bello, and Amanda Bello; five step-grandchildren; and six step-great-grandchildren.

Memorial services were held earlier this week.

Memorial donations can be made to the Orr’s and Bailey Island Fire and Rescue, P.O. Box 177, Orr’s Island, ME 04066.

Arrangements are by Brackett Funeral Home, 29 Federal St., Brunswick.

Condolences can be expressed at

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