G. Erik Johanson, husband, father and beloved Grampa passed away Monday evening October 16th of a massive heart attack. He was 83 years old.
Erik, although born in Sweden, was American and proud of it. He immigrated to the United States at the age of 26 to escape the heavy tax burden of the socialized country. He was sponsored by his uncle, Hugo Aronson, then governor of Montana. He went to work for Hi-Ball Trucking and learned to speak English by listening to the radio as he hauled oil drilling rigs cross country. He told stories of eating “ham and eggs” three meals a day for weeks because he could not read the roadside diner menu.
Erik met and subsequently married Frances Lorrain Freed on December 28, 1954. Together they had one daughter Erika. Frances preceded Erik in death on October 20th , 1978, succumbing to cancer. A few years later he met Alvina McMillan and they were married on May 6th, 1983. Alvina and her four children, spouses, and grandchildren were loved dearly by Erik and were very much his family. Alvina and Erik recently celebrated their 23rd wedding anniversary.
Erik retired in 1986 while working as a superintendent or Holm Sutherland Construction Company, having made many friends that he valued greatly.
Although Erik’s death was sudden and unexpected, earlier that day, while watching his 10-year old granddaughter Erin’s basketball game, he expressed his love and value of family and stated what a blessed man he was.
Survivors include his wife Alvina, daughter Erika Schreibeis (Clark), step-daughters Diane McMillan, and Judy Hauge, and step-sons Don McMillan (Terri) and Doug McMillan (Debbi), and 12 grandchildren and 2 great grandchildren.
Funeral Services for Erik will be Friday at 10:00 AM at Lutheran Church of the Good Shepherd in Billings. Following the service a reception will be held. Interment will follow at Laurel Cemetery. Memorials may be made to Billings Clinic Cardiac Rehab.