Craig Eugene Johnson, 1958-2010
February 1, 2010 Timothy Prickett Morgan
Craig Johnson, one of the two co-product managers of the Power Systems i platform at IBM, died tragically in a 39-car pile up during a blizzard on Interstate 35 near Latimer, Iowa, last Monday. He was 51.
According to the obituary in the Rochester Post-Bulletin, the local paper in Rochester, Minnesota, where Johnson worked on the i/OS platform, he and his wife, Kathleen, who also works for IBM, were in the accident. Johnson exited the car to assist his injured wife and was struck by another vehicle. According to another report in the paper, the Iowa State Patrol characterized this as one of the worst accident scenes any of the officers had ever seen, and there were lots of injuries. But Johnson was the only fatality. The Globe Gazette paper of northern Iowa reported that whiteout conditions caused numerous pileups that day.
Of his many tasks as product manager for the Power Systems i platform for the past several years, one of them was to brief me on what was coming down the pike as IBM made announcements. This is not always a pleasant experience because I ask a lot of pesky questions, but Johnson always had whatever data I needed, and he always treated me with respect and with a sense of humor, too. Like most of us, Johnson loved the platform that gives us our living, and he knew I did, too. I will miss him, I appreciate the loss to IBM and the midrange community at large, and I am horrified by the tragedy of his death and his family’s loss.
Johnson is survived by his wife, Kathleen, who was still in the hospital earlier this week, and two daughters, Casey Johnson of Ames, Iowa, and Megan Johnson of Minneapolis, Minnesota.