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Former Turlock Journal pressman, missionary celebrates 100th birthday
Duane Johnson is pictured during his time as a pressman with the Turlock Journal, from 1933 to 1946. Johnson celebrated his 100th birthday last weekend. - photo by Photo Contributed

Duane Johnson is the last person to let his age get in the way. Having just celebrated his 100th birthday with over 50 friends this past weekend, the Turlock resident continues to view age as just a number.


His son, Brian Johnson, can personally testify to his father’s continuous involvement in the printing business, missionary work, and the community.


“He actually went by himself on an airplane to Russia when he was 90 to do some missionary work and he was driving until he was 97. So he’s a handful,” Brian Johnson said.


Originally born in Nebraska in 1914, Duane Johnson moved to Turlock in 1924. During his time in high school, Johnson delivered newspapers for the Turlock Journal. However, his involvement in the newspaper industry did not end there. From 1933 to 1946, Johnson was the youngest press foreman for the Turlock Journal.


After learning all the details of the printing business during his time at the Turlock Journal, Johnson moved to Venezuela to start his own printing operation with the Scandinavian Alliance Mission. With the underlying purpose to help churches send missionaries to establish reproducing churches among nations, Johnson stayed with the mission for 15 years.


Once Johnson returned to the States in the 1960s, he went to work for Campus Crusade for Christ. Present in about 190 countries, Johnson worked with the non-denominational organization whose primary goal is to translate the Bible into as many languages in order to be accessible to as many people as possible.  


Today, when asked about the key to his lifetime longevity, the 100-year-old kept it simple.


“I try to live a life that is productive and try to keep physically fit,” said Johnson. “I did not get involved in other things that would have deteriorated my life.”