June 8, 2019 — David W. Johnsen III, 90, of Florence, passed away May 8, 2019.
He is survived by his wife, Kerstin (Chris); his daughter Kimberley; his sons, David, Mark and Bruce; and two grandsons, David and Benjamin.
David was born June 30, 1928, in San Francisco, Calif., to Blanche and Albert Johnsen who, together with two brothers (Bud and George) preceded him in death.
He was involved in show business his entire career, starting as a projectionist and stage hand in the Bay Area. He was an honorary lifetime member of the IATSE and held many positions including president of the local union chapter.
He then moved to Las Vegas, Nev., where he quickly moved up the ranks and became the stage director of the Folies Bergere at the Hotel Tropicana.
He met and befriended many celebrities and stars and was loved by the cast and crew. He later worked at — and brought in — Circus Circus, where he was the assistant to the producer and later the producer of Circus Circus.
In the early 70s, David moved back to the San Francisco Bay Area where he and his wife raised Kimberley and helped care for his mother. He managed and was the projectionist of two movie theatres in Antioch, Calif.
After retiring, David moved to Oregon, falling in love with the coast and Florence, where he spent the remainder of his life.
He served on the Greentrees board of directors for several years. He also joined the Florence Police Auxiliary and volunteered for more than 13 years. He then let his artistic side take over and started making walking sticks from driftwood that he spent many happy hours collecting on the beach; drying, sanding, carving and painting them into beautiful works of art.
He was proud that his sticks were sold and found homes all over the world. He remained in contact with many of the people who bought or received his walking sticks.
He will be sorely missed by his family, friends and his beloved Boston bulldog, Tootsie.
We will be honoring David on Saturday, June 29, from noon to 2 p.m., at the Greentrees Recreation Hall.
In lieu of flowers, contribution can be made to the Friends of Florence at P.O. Box 598 Florence, or can be left with Burns’s Riverside Chapel Florence Funeral Home, which was in charge of arrangements.