Finis Garrett Johnson – Colonel, United States Army

From a contemporary press report:

Finis Garrett Johnson, 91, a retired Army Colonel and college professor who was a member of the Kiwanis Club of Washington and Briggs Memorial Baptist Church in Bethesda, died of pneumonia May 22, 2003, at Walter Reed Army Medical Center. He had suffered a stroke.

Colonel Johnson, a resident of the Knollwood retirement community in Washington, had lived in this area off and on since 1947. He was a native of Gleason, Tennessee, and a graduate of the University of Maryland. He received a master's degree in international affairs from George Washington University and did additional graduate work in that subject at American University. He attended military institutions that included the Naval War College.

He served in the Army for 35 years, with assignments that included the Army Security Agency School, the infantry and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He was posted to Europe during World War II and to Korea during the war there. He also commanded a signal battalion and was deputy president of the Signal Corps Board. He retired in 1966 as a research analyst in the weapons system evaluation group of the Institute for Defense Analyses.

Colonel Johnson taught political science at Newberry College in South Carolina until 1973. He was a member of the American Association of University Professors and Pi Sigma Alpha honor society.

His honors included a Legion of Merit, two Bronze Stars and the Army Commendation Medal.

Survivors include his wife of 57 years, Mildred Johnson of Washington; a daughter, Karen Elkjer of Denver; a sister; and two grandsons.


On Thursday, May 22, 2003, FINIS GARRETT JOHNSON of Washington, DC. Beloved husband of Mildred C. Johnson; devoted father of Karen Elkjer; loving brother of Ruth Brown. Also survived by two grandsons. A memorial service will be held at Knollwood Chapel, 6200 Oregon Ave., NW, Washington, DC at 10 a.m. on Friday, June 20, 2003 with interment to follow at 2 p.m. at Arlington National Cemetery. Expressions of sympathy in his memory may be made to the Army Distaff Foundation Fellowship Fund, 6200 Oregon Ave., N.W., Washington, DC 20015.

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