Kristian  Johnsen


CASTLETON-ON-HUDSON - Kristian Johnsen of Castleton-on-Hudson passed away on May 12, 2019, following a brief illness.
Born on Nov. 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 Nazis. Kristian joined the Norwegian Navy to serve his homeland. He served as a gunner on his ship from June 4, 1942 trough May 8, 1945.
After the war, he made his home in Brooklyn, 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, 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. 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 frys at the South Schodack Firehouse, always encouraging his family to join him.
He was a lifetime member of the Sons of Norway fraternal group and 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 and Brennan Mehan, Ethan and Ella Wang, Reagan Kalbfleisch, Lucas and Robert K. Pettinelli Jr.
We will be celebrating the life of Kristian at 2 p.m., Friday, May 17, at Atonement Lutheran Church, 1 Center St., Oneonta. 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 17) 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 one's 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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Published on May 14, 2019
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4 posts

Carol Eriksson
May 19, 2019
My deepest condolence to the family. I consider knowing Kris as one of the best human beings I have known on this earth. Kris and Clara and their immediate family were like family to my mom and me. We had many good times together in daily life and Sons of Norway.
Erna Richards
May 18, 2019
So sorry to hear, God Bless!!!❤️
Peg Serra-Lima
May 15, 2019
You had our hearts with the first smile, the first shared cup of coffee, the laughter of jokes often groaned are one of God's most perfect gentlemen and we love you into eternity to rejoin your beloved Clara.
Arthur Fitch
May 14, 2019