Smithfield – If you know Deron “Duke” Johnson of Smithfield, Maine, son of Carol and John “Jack Johnson Sr.,” you know several important things about him. He was a devoted husband and father to his 12-year-old wife, Kristi Johnson, and son, Damon Johnson, both of whom he loved more than anything else in the world. Duke can freshen up any room with his smile and charisma. He was a loyal and faithful friend. He loved ice cream. His radio was always tuned to the lithium channel and he loved singing Chris Cornell songs. Duke loved to travel and was adventurous. But his passion was fly fishing, and if he could catch any river to fly fish it would be in Montana.
Duke graduated from Skowhegan Area High School in 1989 and Eastern Maine Community College in 1999. He also served in the United States Air Force in the 337th Airlift Squadron and was a whitewater rafting instructor. He worked in the electrical appliance store at SAPPI for 17 years along with his father, brothers and co-workers who became a second family.
The Duke loved life and lived it to the fullest, even while battling cancer in his final year. His peaceful passing at his home on September 11, 2022 will be seen throughout the community due to the number of lives he touched in his 51 years of life.
Duke’s immediate family meant the world to him and they were by his side throughout his brightest days and hardest hours. Among them are his brothers: John and Mary Johnson Jr., Brian and Stephanie Johnson; – Daughters and nephew: Brooke and Matthew Libby; Kaitlyn Johnson; Tanner Johnson; cousins Kathleen and David Talley; His son-in-law Joseph and Annette Lipkowski.
Duke also had an extensive network of extended family and friends whom he loved and shared many memories with. He inspired and reassured them to the end, often saying things like, “If you feel something on your shoulder, know it’s me.”
An informal celebration of life will take place on October 2, 2022, at The Water’s Edge Estate, 624 Waterville Road, Skowhegan, Maine between 4-7 p.m.
“In the end all things merge into one, and a river runs through it.” – Norman MacLean
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