Norman L. Johnson, age 60, of Albuquerque, NM, died Monday morning, July 1, 2019. Born May 29, 1959, in Houston, TX, Norman grew up in Albuquerque. After graduating from Sandia High School in 1977, Norman was admitted to Colorado Mountain College where he fell in love with photography. With that goal in mind, he transferred and graduated from Rochester Institute of Technology in 1981, earning a Bachelor of Science.
As a young man, Norman enjoyed rock climbing, hiking, and skiing. He had a SCUBA certification and earned a black belt in Judo. He participated in Outward Bound adventures and worked on a fishing boat in Alaska as well as serving as a crew member on a private yacht as it sailed down the east coast. As a child he traveled to the Galapagos Islands and spent time in Bolivia and Mexico with his family.
Norman was a commercial photographer. He worked as a photographic assistant locally before opening his own photography studio in 1988. Norman Johnson Photography provided a lifelong career and opened a pathway to meeting new acquaintances and making good friends along the way. While shopping for film at a local camera shop, Norman met his future wife, Elise. Norman and Elise married on Sept. 6, 1998, in their backyard, surrounded by a small group of close friends and family. They celebrated their 20th anniversary in a hospital room while Norman was fighting his year-long battle with the debilitating effects of Nocardia.
Norman is survived by his wife, Elise Welch; his brother, Paul Johnson and his wife, Laura McNamara of Sandia Park, NM; his sister, Shirley Gillen and her husband, Greg; and sons, Sean and Kyle Gillen of Frederick, MD; his niece and nephew, Kathy and Jon Reinier of Albuquerque; his nieces, Alexandra and Casey Welch of Lake Wylie, SC; and his Aunt, Joan Romney of Salt Lake City, UT.
He is preceded in death by his parents, O. Douglas and Cleo J. (Yeager) Johnson; his uncle, Glen Lewis Johnson; and sister, Karen Johnson Reinier. His mother passed away just three weeks before Norman.
A Memorial Service will be held on Saturday, August 31, 2019, 2:00 p.m. at Sunset Memorial Park. It will be held outdoors in the Pavilion/ Esperanza Plaza. (Directions within Sunset Memorial Park: From Menaul blvd, turn onto Lombardy Dr, Then take a left at Esperanza Dr. Plaza is located next to Centennial Urn Garden.)
A Celebration of Life will be held on Sunday, September 1, 2019, 12:00 p.m. at Norman’s studio, 4310 Paseo del Norte, Suite B, 87133. (Please Note: this appears as El Pueblo rd. on Google Maps)
In lieu of flowers, please consider donating to Transplant Living Centers, 23405 E. 5th Pl., Unit #103. Aurora, CO 80018
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