Keith Johnson of Shandaken died peacefully at home with his family on Friday July 3, 2020. He was born July 13, 1945 at the Margaretville Hospital, son of the late Paul F. Johnson and Nina Beardsley Johnson. Keith was a native and life long resident, graduate of Fleischmanns High School, and an ardent supporter of his community. He spent the first part of his life in Halcott Center, and still considered himself a Halcotteer-at-heart! Belleayre Mountain was an integral part of his life. He was the youngest "certified" ski school instructor on the entire East Coast. He met Nancy on the mountain, and they were married in 1967 at Belleayre, years before it was the "in thing to do"! Keith was a very beautiful skier, all the more impressive for such a big man to have such a light touch on the snow. His love of skiing made it so much fun for him to share the sport with many thousands of students he taught over the years and he was a member of the Professional Ski Instructors of America for over 40 years as part of that endeavor. "PaPa-Keith" thoroughly enjoyed watching the next generation of his extended family experience joy in their young lives and new adventures. His family was paramount to him. Keith was the owner/operator of Johnson Construction which included logging and the skillful operation of heavy equipment. Keith initially built many of the roads and ponds in the area. He was the Town of Shandaken Highway Superintendent, Chairman and 35 year member of the Shandaken Zoning Board of Appeals, Member of the Town Comprehensive Planning Board, and active with the Town of Shandaken Ambulance Squad for more than 30 years, beginning when it was a volunteer corp, and as a first responder. He was a life-member of the Shandaken-Allaben Hose Company, and a certified operator of the Jaws-of-Life. The depth of experience and knowledge that Keith brought to the town was tremendous. Keith had coached Shandaken Little League, and had volunteered as Den Master of the local Cub Scouts. He valued his sense of community and the connections that were forged as a result of pulling together for a common goal. Keith was a living example of a true 'woodsman'. He appreciated the beauty and grandeur of nature, whether he was in the woods, in the stream, or at the house feeding and identifying birds that graced his backyard feeders. Keith enjoyed photography, and had a keen eye for the perfect photo. Keith continued to foster new friendships up to the end of his life, including some wonderful neighbors who were incredibly helpful to him in these last few months. He made this world a little bit better for so many others, and will be greatly missed.
Surviving are his wife of 52 years, Nancy Frank Johnson, a son Sean and his wife Alisa of Reno, NV, brother Randy of Fleischmanns, two granddaughters: Sasha & Annika Johnson, several special extended family members including: Peggy & Bill Vitarius, Cortney Scionti, Billy Vitarius, Kim Johnson, Adam & Matthew Johnson, Anne Marie Nazzaro-Bredin, Randall Frank, and Shannon Hutzel.
A Service to Celebrate the Life of Keith will be held on Sunday July 5 at 1pm at the Glenbrook Park, Rt. 42 Shandaken. The Johnson Family requests that all safety precautions of face coverings and social distancing per the Executive Order be strictly observed. You are encouraged to bring your own chair with you to the Neil Grant Memorial Pavilion. Burial will take place privately. The family suggests memorial contributions may be made to the Shandaken Ambulance. The family thanks Dr. Raymond Lippert for his friendship and professionalism of many years. To share a special memory or a condolence with the family, please visit Keith's Tribute Wall at gormleyfuneralhome.com Friends will be received on Sunday prior to the service from 11am to 12:30pm at the E. B. Gormley Funeral Home 87 Main St. Phoenicia.
To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Keith K. Johnson, please visit our floral store.