Steven “Swede” Johnson
Steven “Swede” Johnson, 62, of Frewsburg, N.Y., passed away peacefully in his home on April 12, 2019, with his wife and children by his side, following a courageous battle with metastatic prostate cancer.
Steve was born on Nov. 13, 1956, in Jamestown, N.Y., to the late Robert and Elaine Bacot Johnson. Raised in Frewsburg, he graduated from Frewsburg Central School in 1975, then traveled to Florida where he played baseball. Swede returned to Frewsburg briefly before taking off on a cross-country road trip with his buddies, Dana and Brad. Their money ran out in Lake Havasu, Ariz., and he remained there for a short time. He returned to Frewsburg and in 1982, married his wife, Nina. They raised their three children, Allison, Garrett, and Lindy, in the home they built together 34 years ago. A relentless optimist, he was a passionate husband, father, grandfather, coach, mentor, and friend. He was proud of his hometown, and no matter where his kids chose to reside, he reminded them often that they are Frewsburg Bears, and they will forever “bleed blue.”
A successful flooring installer for over 40 years, Steve went to work every day with enthusiasm. He laughed easily and made others laugh, never taking life too seriously, truly embracing the phrase, “YOLO!” His positive attitude was contagious, as were his dance moves. If “Moves Like Jagger” was playing, a dance party was sure to follow. His laughter and sense of humor gave his family and friends the strength they needed until the end.
Swede’s life was filled with many adventures –it was as if he and Nina knew they would need to fit a lifetime of memories into a short amount of time; they succeeded. In fact, his family often joked that they were aging in reverse. He and Nina were infamous for taking off on daytrips, not telling anyone where they were going. They liked to “shoot from the hip,” spending their days wandering wherever the road took them, sending pictures to their family along the way, saying, “Guess where we are…” He loved spending time on his boat “The Neener Nonner,” floating on the Kinzua Reservoir. Family vacations were a priority. If he could be anywhere in the world, it would be Key West at a Tiki Bar with his family, watching boats go by.
Paralyzed since December 1, 2018, everyone Swede encountered, from family and friends to doctors and caregivers, was inspired by his positive attitude and outlook on life. He said many times, “What choice do I have-It is what it is.” We all have choices in life, and he always chose gratitude; grateful for a life well-lived, filled with memories which his family and friends will cherish forever. He would want people to know that he was smiling and making jokes until the very end.
Steve is survived by his wife of 36 years, Nina, and their children, Allison and Michael Lampo, Garrett and Bayley Johnson, Lindy and Tyler Miller; five grandchildren, Avery and Madden Lampo, Delaney and Rhett Johnson, and Beck Miller; and a sister, Patty Waite. He is preceded in death by his parents and sister, Susan Crawford.
At Steve’s request, a celebration of his life will be held at a later date. In lieu of flowers, his family would like to request donations be made to the Frewsburg Fire Department, Myers Memorial Library or Chautauqua Hospice & Palliative Care.
The Peterson Funeral Home, Frewsburg is handling arrangements.
Condolences may be sent to Steve’s family at petersonfh.net.