Family Login:

Share This Obituary

Arnold Hemming Johnson Arnold Hemming Johnson, of The Cypress, Hilton Head Island, SC died Monday, October 14, 2013 at the age of 96. He was born on April 29, 1917 in Bridgeport, Connecticut, the son of Alfred and Agda Johnson. Moving to Hartford, CT in 1920, he attended Hartford Public Schools and graduated from Bulkeley High School in 1935. His father, having died in 1921, and with the depth of the Great Depression, college was not possible. So at age 17 he started his insurance career at the Aetna Casualty and Surety Company. In 1942 he enlisted in the Army Air Corp's pilot training program and received his Wings and 2nd Lieutenant's Commission at Moody Field, in Valdosta, GA in April 1944. As a B-24 bomber pilot he flew a full tour of 35 missions with the 15th Air Force, hitting targets in France, Germany, Austria, Czechoslovakia and Northern Italy, and was honorably discharged in June 1945. In July 1945, combining his insurance and aviation experience, he joined U.S. Aviation Underwriters in New York and in 1949 joined American Mercury Insurance Company in Washington, DC as Vice President. In 1960 he was hired by AVEMCO Corporation (the parent company) to organize its aviation insurance subsidiary AVEMCO Insurance Company. In 1973, after serving as President of the insurance subsidiary and Director of AVEMCO Corporation, he was elected Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer of the parent company. During his tenure, AVEMCO Insurance Company became the insurer of more aircraft than any insurance company in the world. After retirement in 1982 he served as a Director and Chairman of the Executive Committee until AVEMCO was sold in 1997. During his business career he was active in insurance and aviation organizations, receiving honors and commendations in both fields. After retirement in 1982 he moved to Hilton Head Island with his wife of 29 years, Helene (Mike), a long-time and well-known early resident of Sea Pines. He was a member of the Sea Pines Country Club and the Bear Creek Golf Club and served as a "Heritage" volunteer for 15 years. He was preceded in death by his first wife Mary Louise Walter, his second wife Helene Johnson and his brother Evert. He is survived by his children, Jeffrey Walter Johnson of Littleton, CO, Nancy Fee King of St. Helena, CA and Jill Anders Staples of Fernandina Beach, FL. Grandchildren are Kristin and Erica Johnson and Jeffrey and Katherine King. Services will be private. Donations may be made to the First Presbyterian Church or Volunteers in Medicine, both of Hilton Head Island. The Island Funeral Home and Crematory is in charge of arrangements.