November 5, 1908 ~ March 9, 2004
Johnson, Leslie E.
Passed away March 9, 2004 at the age of 95. Les was born in Monmouth, Illinois November 5, 1908. His parents, Elmer and Lona Johnson soon moved with Les and his sisters Alene and Frances to Rock Island, Illinois. Rock Island was a colorful, bustling town on the banks of the Mississippi River complete with gamblers, gangsters and home to the Rock Island Arsenal. As an adult Les told his children many tales of the adventures he had growing up there. Those stories of his childhood in Rock Island and later his accounts of his teen years in Indianapolis, Indiana have already been passed on to his six grandchildren and three great grandchildren. ''Lug,'' as his Hoosier friends called him, moved to Hollywood, California in 1937 and went to work in the apparel business.
He married a beautiful redheaded woman he met in Hermosa Beach named Dorothy Derfer from Pasadena. They started their family just as World War II broke out and consequently he didn't see much of his first daughter Sharon until late in 1945. ''Lug'' spent the war years with the Eighth Army Air Corps at Honington Air Base near Bury Saint Edmunds, England. Soon after getting back to Hermosa his second daughter Jennifer was born, followed by his only son Harry, and later his youngest daughter Christine. He purchased property in a Redondo Beach bean field in 1950, built a home and lived to see the amazing development of the entire South Bay in subsequent years. His loves were his family, ''his'' nearby beach and ocean and the many car trips he made throughout the U.S. Nothing but his passing could have separated him from home, family and friends in Redondo Beach. ''Lug'' is survived by his 4 children, Sharon Albistegui, Christine Contu, Harry Johnson and Jennifer Valentini plus 6 grandchildren and 3 great grandchildren. Visitation will be held Monday, March 15 from 4:00PM to 8:00PM at White and Day's Colonial Mortuary, 901 Torrance Blvd. in Redondo Beach. Services will be held on Tuesday March 16 at 11:00AM in the Mortuary Chapel. Burial will follow at Green Hills Memorial Park in Rancho Palos Verdes, CA.
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