March 15, 1938 - January 6, 2020
Ken Johnson – Husband, Father, Dentist, Mentor, Teacher, Author, Inventor, Philanthropist, Grandfather, Visionary, Die-hard Beaver fan, Community organizer, Woodworker, Gift Giver, Lover of Life - was born in 1938 in Harvey, Illinois and died at home this week in Corvallis, Oregon. Ken moved to Tillamook, Oregon in 1947 and graduated from Tillamook High School - home of “the Cheesemakers” - in 1956. From a young age, Ken knew he wanted to be a dentist and upon high school graduation, he attended University of Oregon to obtain his Bachelor of Science. After U of O, Ken attended Oregon Health Sciences University in Portland, Oregon and graduated from Dental School in 1963. Ken spent two years on Guam as a Captain in the Air Force and moved back to Corvallis in 1965 to begin his dental practice. For over 40 years, Dr. Johnson, DMD. practiced dentistry in Corvallis. He dedicated his life to alleviating dental pain and suffering. He treated adults and children, and possessed a unique ability to connect with children both in and out of the dental chair. Many parents are forever indebted to Dr. Johnson for helping their children stop sucking their thumbs! Ken’s gentle manner, his magic, and his gift of making people smile all helped to put his patients – big and small – at ease in the dental chair, including some of the toughest Beaver athletes. Ken provided for his community locally, and he also traveled the world to provide volunteer dental care in many countries. His life’s mission included providing care for those unable to afford care and he had a dream of creating a dental clinic in our community to serve youth across Benton County. Beginning with mobile dental vans, Ken traveled throughout the county providing free dental services. After retirement, he approached the Boys and Girls Club of Corvallis with his vision of a free dental clinic. By February of 2008, Ken, working with the close support of his wife, Dot, served the first patients in the new clinic. Ken was a consummate teacher. He originated and advised the Pre-Dental course at Oregon State University and hundreds of practicing dentists have participated and benefited from the Pre-Dent Club. For decades, Ken provided regular mentoring and teaching at Linn Benton Community College and in OSU’s pre-dental program. He had a deep desire to give back to his profession and to ensure that the next generation of dentists would also be skilled in the art of dentistry for children. The many friends Ken made in the community and in the world experienced his gift of bringing people together. So many have been touched and inspired by his model of service. He created community; he encouraged people to work together; he invited friends to pool their resources; he reached out to other dental professionals. The OSU Men’s and Women’s basketball teams and coaches were all special to Ken and the basketball parties he hosted, along with the “Men’s Parties,” were uniquely beautiful ways that Ken brought people together with joy and laughter. Ken did magic for people all over the world - he made people smile and giggle and feel cared for. He mentored us all and invited us to meet him in his generosity of spirit. Ken left this world a better place. Ken’s family includes his loving wife Dot Johnson, his children Jillean Johnson and Michael Johnson and his wife, Paige, and his step-children Rob Dye, Tom Dye, Jason Brown and Shannon Brown. He has 10 grandchildren and one adorable great grandson. We all miss him terribly. There will be a memorial service celebrating his life on Tuesday, January 14, 2020 at 6 p.m. at the CH2M Hill Alumni Center on the Oregon State University campus at 725 SW 26th Street, Corvallis, OR 97331. In lieu of flowers, we invite you to donate to the Boys and Girls Club of Corvallis at 1112 NW Circle Blvd, Corvallis, OR 97330 and/or Lumina Hospice and Palliative Care at 720 SW 4th Street, Corvallis, OR 97333.
Ken Johnson – Husband, Father, Dentist, Mentor, Teacher, Author, Inventor, Philanthropist, Grandfather, Visionary, Die-hard Beaver fan, Community organizer, Woodworker, Gift Giver, Lover of Life - was born in 1938 in Harvey, Illinois and... View Obituary & Service Information
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