Cover photo for Norman Johnson's Obituary
Norman Johnson Profile Photo
1926 Norman 2020

Norman Johnson

August 30, 1926 — February 24, 2020

Norman Russell Johnson, 93, of 43 Winona Avenue, Saranac Lake died peacefully at home on Monday February 24, 2020. He was recently under the care of High Peaks Hospice as his health took a sharp decline over the past several months.

Norman “Norm” was born August 30, 1926, at the family “homestead” on Payeville Lane in Saranac Lake. He was the youngest son of Charles Albert and Jessie Ellen (Woodruff) Johnson. They had a large family of 5 boys and 2 girls. He treasured his boyhood home and was very happy that it remains in the family to this day.

Once old enough, Norm volunteered to serve our country in World War II. He joined the Navy and served primarily as a Pharmacist Mate on the hospital ship USS Repose. After the war, he married his beloved wife, Margaret DeForge on January 12, 1948 at St Bernard’s Church in Saranac Lake. They were together for 70 years until her death in 2018.

Norm worked for Sealtest Foods for 25 years from 1947 until they consolidated downstate. He started as a driver and eventually managed the Adirondack region based in what is now Pendragon Theatre and the Adirondack Pet Hospital. In 1972, he took a job with the Saranac Lake Central School District. For most of his tenure, he was the supervisor of Buildings and Grounds for satellite schools and was based at the Bloomingdale Elementary school, retiring in 1988.

During the 1960’s Arnold Palmer golf boom, Norm became an avid and accomplished golfer. Over the years, he shot 5 aces (holes-in-one) and won many local golf tournaments and club championships, collecting over 2 dozen trophies. He was one of two founding organizers of the “Friday Night League” which has been a tradition at the Saranac Lake Golf Club in Ray Brook for almost 50 years. The golf course was his favorite place to be. He was also a passionate football fan of the local high school team on Saturdays and the New York Giants on Sundays.

Norm was a devoted father and family man, hard-working, very generous, a kind and gentle soul. He owns a special place in our hearts and will live on in our memories. He is survived by his daughter Norma Johnson, son Paul and his life partner Kristin Makrin, grandson Timothy all of Saranac Lake, grandson Derek of Glens Falls, brother Basil Sr. of Bloomingdale, 3 great grandchildren, and many nieces and nephews.

He was predeceased by his brothers William “Bill”, Woodruff “Woody”, Carl, his sisters Mildred Spinner, Patricia Jacobs, his cherished Winona Ave. neighbors Paul and Millie Dupree and dear friends/golf buddies Ed Fobare and Roger Quinn.

Funeral arrangements are in care of the Fortune-Keough Funeral Home, 20 Church Street in Saranac Lake. Calling hours will be from 3 to 5pm on Friday February 28 at the funeral home. A Mass of Christian burial will take place at St. Bernard’s Church on Saturday February 29 at 11am. A burial ceremony at Pine Ridge Cemetery will be scheduled in the spring.

Memorial donations in Norm’s memory can be made to St. Bernard’s Church in care of the funeral home. Family and friends can also share their memories and sign the online guestbook at
To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Norman Johnson, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services


Friday, February 28, 2020

3:00 - 5:00 pm (Eastern time)

Fortune-Keough Funeral Home, Inc.

20 Church Street, Saranac Lake, NY 12983

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Saturday, February 29, 2020

Starts at 11:00 am (Eastern time)

St. Bernard's Roman Catholic Church

27 Saint Bernard Street, Saranac Lake, NY 12983

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.


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