BERNARD ‘BUN’ JOHNSON
Bernard (Bun) James Johnson, 91, of Altadena, CA, died Friday, July 10, 2015. He was born May 19, 1924 in Hawarden, IA, the first child of two to Oscar C. Johnson and Bertice Eva Thompson Johnson.
He attended elementary and high school in Falls City. It was there that Mr. Johnson began his first successful business as concessionaire for his father’s movie theaters. He received his BA in Business Administration from UCLA and was a member of the Beta Theta Pi fraternity.
A veritable war hero and true combat veteran Mr. Johnson served as a Staff Sergeant in the U.S. Army. As a front line infantry man and artillery scout for the 78th Division H Company in the European Theater, he fought in the most decisive battles of World War II. The “Lightning Division” saw extensive combat in The Battle of the Bulge, The Battle of Ardennes, Belgium, The Battle of Kesternich at the Siegfried Line and The Battle on the Remagen Bridge where he was among the first to make it across the bridge. He was awarded the Bronze Star Medal for his service.
He married Mary Therese Ingraham of Santa Monica, CA in August of 1952 after meeting her at the Rope Tow #1 line at Mammoth Mountain. He and Mary shared an exciting and active life together.
Mr. Johnson began his stellar career in investment counseling in Pasadena in 1957 when he joined Bob Gillette Investments. Bob Kommerstad joined the firm and a strong friendship and business relationship grew ultimately developing into Provident Investment Counsel. Johnson and Kommerstad built the growth stock specialist firm by recognizing good investments, matching them to the appropriate clients and providing an incentive-driven and stimulating work environment for employees. In 1982, Provident was recognized by the Wall Street Journal as the top performing institutional management firm in the United States.
Bun believed in contributing to his community through volunteerism and philanthropy. He served on the board and was an active member of the Tournament of Roses , UCLA Chancellors Committee and the University Club of Pasadena. He was a member of the Los Angeles Society of Financial Analysts, Pasadena Rotary, Pasadena Foundation, Breakfast Forum at Caltech, Pasadena Photography Club and a founding member of the Grindlewald Ski Club.
He was handsome, athletic and was always meticulously groomed. He possessed a quick wit and loved to tell a good story or joke. He loved his wife of 62 years, children and grandchildren and they loved him. He found pleasure in soaking up sun while surrounded by newspapers, watching UCLA football and basketball, Mary’s meatloaf dinners and albacore fishing off the Mexican Coronado Islands. He and Mary navigated Mexican, Pacific, Alaskan, Atlantic, Gulf Coast, Great Lakes and Caribbean waters on their sport fishing boats, “Wild Coast” and “Reel World”, and traveled the world extensively with their many friends.