Louis Ira Johnson “Milkman Lou,” “Captain Lou”
Lou has ended his long journey through dementia and short battle with cancer on May 13, 2020. Lou married his wife of 53 years, Elaine Johnson (Bussom), on June 24, 1967. Lou was preceded in death by his parents, Lewis and Evelyn Johnson; in-laws, William and Catherine Bussom; siblings, Dave Johnson, Bob Johnson, and Ruthann Snyder; brothers-in-law, Jack Rothrock and Gordy Snyder; and sister-in-law, Barb Johnson.
He was the eighth of 10 children raised on Charles Street in what was known as the “Swampoodle” section of Williamsport. Lou lived the remainder of his life on Sheridan Street close to where he was born. Lou is survived by brothers and sisters, Jim (Irene), Frank (Fay), Dick (Susie), Joann Rothrock, Jeannie Murphy, and Kathy (Dave) Shipton. He has many nieces and nephews as well.
Lou has three children, Stacie (Scott) Schearer, of Pittsburgh, Trina (Dan) Stark, of Buckeye, Ariz., and Matthew (Leaha), of Goodyear, Ariz. He is Pappy Lou to Larissa Walker, Captain Julian Stark, Tiffanie Lee (Wilson) Marshall, Felicia Stark, Kiarra Johnson-Wilson, Brian Schearer and Steffanie Wilson. His great-grandson is Patrick “PJ” Marshall.
Lou was a 1963 graduate of Williamsport High School, attended Williamsport Area Community College and served in the Army National Guard. He kept the books for the family-owned Johnson’s Cafe in Montoursville before he started his career working at Grit Publishing Company, where he was part of a group that helped form the Industrial Golf League at White Deer Golf Course. Then in 1968, Lou began working at Valley Farms, for whom he later became a subdealer, and started Lou Johnson’s Dairy Products, serving the local community for over 30 years. Lou was the “milkman” for many generations of Williamsport area citizens and one of the last of the door-to-door milkmen, until he retired in 2013.
Lou was an avid golfer and very active in the local golf community. He was a long-standing member of White Deer Golf Course, served on the Men’s Golf Committee and was the chairman for several local golf tournaments especially known for the Ben Levinson Memorial Golf Tournament and the Schneider’s-Valley Farms Invitational. He was also very proud of being a participant in the Williamsport Country Club’s Invitational Tournament and Member-Guest Tournament for over 50 years.
Lou was also passionate about local high school sports in the community. He was known by many as the Millionaires No. 1 fan! Lou became an active member of Williamsport Area High School when his children were in school. He supported and attended all his children’s school activities including band, soccer, swimming, basketball, golf, etc. He actively took on leadership roles with various school booster programs. Lou also sponsored the Williamsport Billies AAU Basketball Team that his son coached. The players and their families knew him as “Captain Lou.”
Lou and Elaine were well-known for dancing together! They met at a local dance at Brandon Park in the 1960s and they continued to show their dancing skills when they attended social and family gatherings. They even won the “Jitterbug” contest at a local dance in the early 2000s.
Much appreciation goes out to the following caretakers who assisted Elaine throughout his illness: Willette, Linda, Susan, Alicia and Shawn.
Lou was a member of Saint Boniface Catholic church and will be buried in Saint Boniface Cemetery. His honorary pall bearers are his nephews, William Bussom, Matt Klees, Jason Shipton, and John Rothrock; sons-in-law, Dan Stark and Scott Schearer; grandsons, Julian Stark and Brian Schearer; and loving friends, Jim Armstrong, William Jones, and Chevy Troutman.
Family and friends will have a viewing with restrictions on Monday, May 18, 2020, from 11 a.m. to noon at Spitler Funeral Home, 733 Broad St., Montoursville. There will be a graveside service at Saint Boniface Cemetery on Monday, at 12:30 p.m. A celebration of life will be announced at a later date.
Family would like any contributions to be made in Lou’s name to the following organizations: the Alzheimer’s Association and the Lou Johnson Scholarship Award (which will be established with the Williamsport Basketball Boosters to offer a $500 scholarship to a player who exemplifies a passion for the game and dedication to service within the community). Contact MattJohnsonhoops@gmail.com.
Arrangements are being handled by Spitler Funeral Home.