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CGA Rules Official Bill Johnson Passes Away at Age 73

Obituary from The Pilot in Southern Pines, NC

William “Bill” D. Johnson, 73, passed away suddenly on Monday, Sept. 23, 2013, at FirstHealth Moore Regional Hospital in Pinehurst. He was born on November 9, 1939, in Port Huron, Mich., to William A. Johnson and Seniea W. Johnson.

Bill grew up in Marysville, Mich. He graduated from Marysville High School and attended college at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor for 3½ years.

Bill was a 1964 graduate of the PGA school, and served as the head professional at St. Claire River Country Club (CC) in Michigan before spending the 1966 season at Lake Morey CC in Fairlee, Vt. He subsequently accepted a position in 1967, at Dartmouth College in Hanover, N.H., as the men’s varsity golf coach and head golf professional at Hanover CC and was there until his retirement in 2001.

Known as Cha to his players, Bill led his golf team in them Ivy League championships in 1970, 1978 and 1983. Bill had an amazing journey filled with many accomplishments. He was a member of the NCAA golf committee from 1978-1984 and was chair from 1981 to 1984. Bill was the president of the 48-school New England Intercollegiate Golf Association (NEIGA).

In 1981, Bill was named Consulate of the Year for the National Golf Foundation. He co-founded the New Hampshire chapter of the New England PGA. Bill also co-founded the New Hampshire Junior Golf Association with Dick Tremblay, PGA, of Aberdeen. Bill was inducted into the Golf Coaches Hall of Fame in 1990. He was inducted into Dartmouth’s Wearers of the Green in 2004. Bill was named the Golf Coaches Association of America Honor Award winner in 2007. He was a member of the Professional Golfers Association of America Life Member affiliated with the New England and Carolina sections. Bill served as a trustee of the Southern Pines Elks Lodge.

“The news is profoundly sad to all of us who met Cha, played for him, learned from him, celebrated with him, have been consoled by him, and, most enjoyable, listened and debated as Cha shared his unique and wonderful philosophies and observations on life.

“Cha was truly a legend and guiding force to generations of Dartmouth golfers. We live and continue to play golf with Cha’s admonitions in our mind: ‘Gentlemen, sometimes we must throw caution to the wind, when the blinders come on you must LFF’ or ‘A dogleg is just two straight shots in different directions’ and ‘Some holes just take 3 to get on.” — Former Dartmouth golf team member.

Bill married Isabella “Izzy” Emslie in 1979 in Hanover, N.H. They were married for 35 years. Bill and Izzy retired to Southern Pines in 2002.

Bill was preceded in death by his parents, William and Seniea Johnson. Bill is survived by his wife, Izzy, of Southern Pines; his daughter, Jill Johnson, of Santa Barbara, Calif.; his son, Damon Johnson and wife, Terri, of Blaine, Minn.; his grandchildren, Christopher, Ian, Brennan, Jordan and Maren, all of Blaine, Minn.; his sister, Ruth Lappin and husband, Fred, of Hanover, N.H.; his sister, Carolyn Turkko and husband, Chuck, of Greenwood Village, Colo.; his brother-in-law, Bob Emslie and his wife, Nancy, of Carrboro, N.C.; his sister-in-law, Margaret Emslie, of Grafton, N.H.; his nieces, Kathleen Torkko, Seniae Lappin, Anna Emslie; his nephews, David Torkko, Ted Lappin, Andrew Emslie; and Mr. Mac, his devoted lap dog.

At Bill’s request, he asked for no services to be held.

In lieu of flowers the family requests memorial donations be made to the American Heart Association, 3131 RDU Center Drive, Suite 100, Morrisville, NC 27560, or Solutions for Animals Inc., 2298 Horace Walters Road, Raeford, NC 28376 or a charity of your choice.

Online condolences may be left at

Boles Funeral Home and Crematory Inc., in Southern Pines, will be assisting the family.

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