Born in Albuquerque, N.M., Bill Johnson was the oldest of four children and the last surviving child born to his parents. He moved to Flagstaff, Ariz. while attending high school and began working as a bell boy at the El Tovar Hotel.
He began a professional career as a surveyor for the A.T. & S.F. Railroad in Winslow, Ariz. following high school. When World War II began, he joined the United States Coast Guard, completing his military career as an Electricians Mate Second Class.
Following World War II he began working as an electrical engineer for the Public Service Department for the City of Glendale, from which he retired after 34 years of service. He was a Scoutmaster and Vigil Member of the Order of the Arrow in the Boy Scouts of America, held a leadership position at his church, and became president of the Southern California Joint Pole Association. He was preceded in death in 1994 by his first wife after 53 years of marriage and by his daughter in 2008.
He died at the age of 89 years and is survived by his second wife, son, daughter-in-law, son-in-law, stepdaughter, four grandchildren, one step-grandchild, and 10 great grandchildren.