FORT MYERS, Fla. — Stanley
E. “Stan” Johnson Jr. was born and raised in Mount Vernon, Ohio,
the son of Stanley and Dorothy Johnson.
As a member of the “greatest generation,” Stan proudly served in the U.S. Navy during World War II from 1943-1946. As a commissioned officer (LTJG), he commanded an amphibious ship and crew at the age of 23 in the South Pacific. These were formative years for the values of integrity, loyalty and regard for others that Stan carried and built upon throughout his life. Stan attended Denison University from 1940-1943, later officially graduating as a member of the class of 1944, following his naval service. Stan then attended the University of Michigan Law School, obtaining his law degree in 1949.
Stan practiced general law in Mount Vernon for two years before joining Cooper Industries (then Cooper-Bessemer, also in Mount Vernon) in 1951 as Assistant Treasurer. Serving in various management roles, he contributed to the major growth and expansion of Cooper during the 1950s and ’60s. In addition to overseeing business diversification and acquisitions, he eventually became president of the largest division, Cooper-Bessemer Corp. Stan served as a corporate officer and board member during his 20-year tenure with the company, and perhaps his most enduring legacy at Cooper was his commitment to employees. He emphasized that corporate-level decisions “weren’t paper decisions, they were human decisions.”
After leaving Cooper Industries in 1971, Stan moved to Florida to become owner and president of Priscilla Murphy Realty on Sanibel Island, from 1971 to 1986. Stan was a founder and investor in the Community Bank of the Islands, started in 1988.
Stan was a member of the Unitarian Universalist Church of Fort Myers and the Fort Myers Congregational United Church of Christ.
Stan is survived by his beloved wife, Gaye Johnson; six children (and their spouses), and 10 grandchildren: Mark Johnson (wife Nina Mende); Scott Johnson (wife Douja) and their daughter Ines; Susan Johnson (husband Ted Grubb) and children Ben and Katie; Jennie Caverley (husband Patrick) and children Sarah and Zachary; Bill Hanson (wife Pam) and children Miles and Amanda; Jon Hanson (wife Kathleen) and children Emily, Erin and Ian.
Stan was preceded in death by two children, Andrew Johnson and Guy Hanson.
Stan was soft-spoken, thoughtful, generous and loved to laugh. He always had a twinkle in his eye that told you he knew something more — and you always felt glad when he let you in on his secret.
A memorial service will be held Friday, March 12, at 3 p.m. at the Unitarian Universalist Church of Fort Myers, 1341 Shire Lane. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to Hope Hospice, 9470 HealthPark Circle, Fort Myers, FL 33908.