Life Story Funeral Homes®
The exclusive providers of the Life Story Experience


Life Story Funeral Homes®
The exclusive providers of the Life Story Experience

William "Bill" Norman Johnson

November 2, 2023
Portage, MI




William "Bill" Norman Johnson was born on September 15, 1937, to Elmer and Iva (Souders) Johnson in Kalamazoo, Michigan. Bill passed away on Thursday, November 2, 2023, after a long battle with Frontotemporal Dementia with Parkinsonism. Bill was the youngest of five children growing up in the Kalamazoo area. He graduated from Kalamazoo Central High School in 1955. Bill then became a sheet metal journeyman and worked in that career for almost 40 years. Bill married Nancy L. Elliott on August 17, 1968.

Bill and Nancy lived in Scotts for almost 50 years before moving to Portage, Michigan. After retirement they wintered in Venice, Florida.

Bill had a passion for car styling and design even as a young boy. He spent his allowance on car magazines and loved drawing his own designs. Bill built many award-winning custom cars. He traveled to many care shows making lasting friendships with other car builders.

Upon retirement, Bill and Nancy enjoyed many wonderful trips throughout the United States and parts of Europe. He often said his favorite trip was when they went to China.

Bill also enjoyed photography of cars, nature, and the many places he visited.

Bill was preceded in death by his parents, Elmer and Iva Johnson; sisters Ruth (Robert) Commissaris, Vida (Bill) Groth; and brother Al (Shirley) Johnson. Also preceding him are his parents-in-law Walter and Dorcas Elliott, and brother-in-law Art Parker.

Bill is survived by his wife of 55 years, Nancy; his sister Beverly Parker; nephews and niece Russ (Linda) Commissaris, Randy (Lydia) Commissaris, Roger (Cindy) Commissaris, Cindy (Brad) Schuchardt, Mark (Lisa) Johnson, Scott (Trish) Parker, and Tom (Kate) Parker; and sister-in-law and her husband Jan and Ron Baas.

A visitation for Bill will be held on Friday, November 10, 2023, from 4:00 PM to 7:00 PM at Langeland Family Funeral Home 411 East Centre Ave. Portage, MI 49002. Bill will be buried at Mt. Ever-Rest Memorial Park South where a family service will be held. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions in honor of Bill may be made to Centrica Care Navigators, Salvation Army, or Loaves and Fishes. Please visit Bill's memorial webpage to share memories and condolences with his family at