Martha Johanson

Obituary of Martha Luzanne Johanson


In Memory of a Loving Mother, Sister, Aunt, Grandmother and Friend.

Martha Luzanne Johanson was born August 11, 1931 to Henry Utz and Alicia Celina ‘Vasquez in Baltimore, Maryland.

However, Martha's mother, Alicia, remarried later in the 1930s to Gunnery Officer Herbert Emil Klukas, where they lived in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

In September 1941 with only a few short months before North America entered World War II, Martha along with her younger brother Herbert Anthony Klukas and mother Alicia, set sail on an ocean-liner from Brooklyn, New York to Panama. The family shortly arrived to the Canal Zone to meet with Martha's father, stationed on a Navy ship on active patrol. Now united the family was together for less than three months before Pearl Harbor was attacked. Consequently, fear of the strategic Canal being invaded by the Japanese Army, required evacuation of all American citizens. An ocean-liner now shepherding Martha and her family to New Orleans suddenly spotted a German U-boat submarine stocking them in the middle of the Gulf of Mexico. The captain of the ocean-liner desperately, but wisely had all families bring their children above deck to line the railings for the German’s to see it was a civilian passenger ship they were about to attack. Mercifully, the 'Wolfpack' sub slipped quietly under the sea and was not seen for the rest of the voyage.

In 1943 the finally reunited again, this time in the state of Washington, where Herb Senior was stationed at the Navy’s Anti-aircraft training center (AATC) Pacific Beach. Meanwhile, Martha’s sister, Lorraine Marie Klukas was born in Aberdeen, Washington.

Shortly after the war, Martha returned to Panama for a few years until the late 1940s, when friends in Los Angeles invited her to live with them. There, she began working in the field of aviation for McDonald Douglas cost analysis division in the early 1950s. Through mutual friends, Martha met the love of her life, David Duane Johanson, a youthful Marine stationed at Camp Pendleton. Their first date, in the summer of 1953 was to see a Nat King Cole concert held at the Hollywood Bowl. David and Martha married on February 6, 1954 in Hawthorne, California at Saint Joseph Catholic Church.

In the late 1950s, now with two young children, David Anthony and James Herbert, Martha and her family moved to North Seattle, where her husband Dave, now stationed in Ballard as a Marine Corps recruiter. Military families are often required moving several times during their service — with Dave’s new deployment in Okinawa, Martha traveled with her boys to Prairie Du Sac, Wisconsin, to live with her father and siblings until her husband returned from overseas.

Dave returning from Okinawa now reassigned to West Coast away from Wisconsin. Accordingly, the family found their new home in 29 Palms Marine Corps Base within the Mojave desert. It was in the desert where Martha discovered a passion for golf and soon excelled at the sport. Her husband now assigned to leave once again, this time to serve in the Vietnam War. Subsequently, the family transferred north of San Diego to have support from cousins who resided nearby. Active raising her two children with support from relatives, Martha simultaneously volunteered to serve with Navy Relief, in support of wives and families who tragically were wounded or had lost their husbands to the war.

With her husband arriving safely from the war and deciding to retire from military life, the family made their final big move to Edmonds, Washington. With Martha’s help, Dave’s new career as a successful real estate broker provided generous support and devotion to raising their sons near the Meadowdale Beach area.

In 2004, Martha’s husband retired from the real estate industry affording them the opportunity to travel the World. Besides Hawaii and California, their favorite travels were to Panama, Sweden, North Africa, and Ireland.

As a couple they were passionate and talented golfers who played some of the best courses in the US and Europe. And no matter where Martha and Dave adventured to, as well as where they called home, they made new friends easily with their genuine warmth and generosity.

Always committed to serving their community, Martha and her husband were active in many charities, financially contributing to the Shriners’ and Saint Jude’s children’s hospitals and numerous other charities. 


Please note if you wish to donate to the following charities and have it appear on Martha’s Tribute Wall — click on the “Donationstab above. Next enter the amount you wish to donate, then click on the “Next’ tab. Now select the “Search Charitytab and enter the State, City and Charity Name for each box.

St. Jude:  Tennessee - Nashville

Alzheimer’s Association:  Illinois - Chicago

Shriners Hospitals For Children:!/donation/checkout?c_src=lttr-home   FloridaTampa


Memorial Service Zoom Recording:



Memorial Service

11:00 am
Friday, January 12, 2024
Holyrood Catholic Cemetery
205 NE 205th Street
Shoreline, Washington, United States
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