JOHNSEN, Kristian, of Castleton-On-Hudson passed away on May 12, 2019 after a brief illness. Born on November 6, 1921 in the small fishing village of Hadsel, Norway. He joined the Merchant Marines in 1939, sailing around the world many times. Once World War II began, Norway was invaded and then occupied by the Nazi’s, Kristian joined the Norwegian Navy to serve his homeland. He served as Gunner on his ship from June 4, 1942 through May 8, 1945. After the war, he made his home in Brooklyn, New York, marrying Clara Bell Roseth on June 29, 1946. Their family grew to include Bennett G. Johnsen, Karen D. Ivy, Warren K. Johnsen (Rachel Berwick), Bettyann Johnsen, and Steven E. (fiancé Andrea) Johnsen. The family resided in Brooklyn, Seattle, Brooklyn again, Northern New Jersey, Stony Brook, Long Island and eventually, Wells Bridge, NY where they remained for nearly 40 years. Kris and Clara tried their hand at farming, raising beef cows, pigs and a menagerie of other animals. Kristian was predeceased by his wife, Clara in September 2011. Shortly thereafter, he moved to Castleton, NY. There he enjoyed new friends at the Edward C. Swartz Senior Center, the special dinners with entertainment and playing darts on Friday afternoons. He delighted in attending the All-You-Can-Eat breakfasts at the Castleton Firehouse and the Friday Night Fish Fry’s at the South Schodack Firehouse, always encouraging his family to join him. He was a lifetime member of the Sons of Norway fraternal group –a current member of Norseman Lodge, in Oneonta.
Kristian is survived by his children and grandchildren: Colleen (Mike) Mehan, Brianne (Erik) Johnsen Wang, Robert (Ashlee) Pettinelli, Tobias Pettinelli, James Ivy, Kai Johnsen and great-grandchildren: Ryan & Brennan Mehan, Ethan & Ella Wang, Reagan Kalbfleisch, Lucas & Robert K. Pettinelli, Jr.
We will be celebrating the life of Kristian on Friday, May 17, 2019 at Atonement Lutheran Church, One Center St., Oneonta at 2:00 pm. Family and friends are welcome to join us for the service and the sharing of memories afterwards. Refreshments will be provided. The Syttende Mai (May 17th) is also known as the Norwegian Independence Day, a day most appropriate for honoring this humble Viking.
In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to the charity of your choice and perform an act of kindness. It will make you smile and think of our father, our hero, our friend.
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