Merlyn Johnson, 87, an oral surgeon, died April 5, 2014, of lung cancer.
He was born in Minneapolis, Minn., on April 1, 1927, to Mary and Uno Johnson. After graduating from Edison High School, he enlisted in the Army in July 1945. He served while also playing football, basketball and softball on teams where he was stationed.
In the fall of 1947, he enrolled in the pre-dental program at Gustavus Aldophus and was admitted to the University of Minnesota dental school in 1950. After earning his DDS degree, he married Marie in June 1954. They moved to Ashby, Minn., and he opened a one-chair dental clinic.
He later returned to the Army and became an oral surgeon. The family lived in Texas, New Mexico and Hawaii before he was honorably discharged in 1960 and commissioned to the U.S. Public Health Service Officer Corps in 1964 after obtaining a master’s degree in public health administration from the University of Michigan.
He achieved the rank of captain in the Officer Corps and served as the area dental director for the Indian Health Service in Albuquerque, N.M., and Billings. He was awarded the Public Health Service’s Meritorious Service Medal in 1975. He retired at the age of 55 in 1982.
He became the owner of five patents for inventions that included decorative lawn rocks and knife, gun, spice and jewelry keepers.
He was involved in several organizations including the Shriners.
Survivors include his wife; children, Kim Halverson of Billings and Bryce Johnson of Oklahoma City; and four grandchildren.
Services will be at 3 p.m. Friday, April 11, at St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church, 1241 Crawford Drive. Dahl Funeral Chapel is in charge of arrangements.
Memorials may be made to RiverStone Hospice, 123 S. 27th St., Billings, MT 59101.