Obituary of Roger Byron Johnson
October 27, 2023 - Calgary, Alberta
Dr. Roger Johnson of Calgary, AB, passed away on Friday, October 27, 2023, at the age of 84 years.
Dr. Roger Byron Johnson, born on January 2, 1939, in Winnipeg, MB, was the third of ten siblings. He embarked on a remarkable journey that touched the lives of many.
In 1957, he enlisted in the Armed Forces, proudly serving for three years in Germany as a member of the Queen's Own Rifles of Canada. In 1960, he remustered to the Dental Corps, training as a dental assistant and hygienist. From 1963 to 1964, he served in the UN Emergency Force in Gaza.
As a young man, Roger was an avid hockey player and competitive boxer. He hung up his gloves and hockey stick to start his family and pursue his career in dentistry.
On November 13, 1965, he married Gail Cooper from Amaranth, MB, and was stationed in Shilo, MB, and later Moose Jaw, SK. In Moose Jaw, he attended night school to complete high school and then moved to Winnipeg for pre-dentistry at the University of Winnipeg. His determination led to acceptance into dental school at the University of Manitoba.
In 1973, Roger attended officer training school in Chilliwack, BC, distinguishing himself as the Honor Cadet among 119 others.
Roger earned his Doctor of Medical Dentistry (DMD) degree from the University of Manitoba in 1974, receiving three University Gold Medals: one for dentistry, one for proficiency in complete dental prosthesis, and a rare accolade for topping his class all four years. He also received 14 special awards available to graduating students. Roger cherished his affiliation with the class of 1974, remaining humble about his roots.
His military service concluded in 1980, retiring with the rank of Major. He then established a successful private dental practice in Calgary on Elbow Drive until 1990. In 1991, he relocated to High Prairie, AB, where he established another thriving dental practice. Later, he opened a third practice in Bassano, AB, remaining dedicated to his profession until retiring in 2010.
Beyond dentistry, Roger ventured into various business endeavors, including a deep fascination with oil exploration, leading him to invest countless hours and resources in this pursuit. He was a proud owner of a racehorse, found joy in training, and relished race days at Stampede Park. Together with Gail, he established the 11 room Rosebud Country Inn in 1995.
Roger also owned a cherry orchard in Kelowna, exemplifying his connection to the natural world. As retirement approached, he purchased a ranch in the foothills, a place he cherished deeply. Here, he planted hundreds of trees and created a pond, leaving a lasting testament to his love for the land.
Dr. Roger Johnson will be remembered for his rugged and tenacious spirit. He is survived by his loving wife, Gail, and his two sons, Kent (Valerie) of Prince George, BC, and Parry (Lara) of Redmond, WA. He leaves behind four grandchildren: Erik Johnson of Calgary, Jacob Johnson of Prince George, BC, Jake and Roger Johnson of Redmond, WA. He is also survived by his siblings Audrey Lissell, Ted (Leona), Randy (Linda), Jim (Michelle), Sonia Schellenberg (Chuck), and Karen Johnson (John). Roger was preceded in death by his parents, Elsa and Byron Johnson, his siblings Sandra Cassie (Bill), Alvin, Lyla, and brother-in-law Bob Lissell. He is also mourned by the loss of his grandson, Jessie Johnson.
Dr. Roger Johnson's legacy lives on through his family, his exceptional achievements, and the countless lives he touched throughout his dedicated career.
At this time, there will be no service, with interment to be scheduled at a later date.
In living memory of Roger Byron Johnson, a tree will be planted in the Ann & Sandy Cross Conservation Area by McInnis & Holloway Funeral Homes, Deerfoot South, 12281 – 40th Street SE, Calgary, AB T2Z 4E6, Telephone: 403-203-0525.