Norman B. Johansen, former athletics director

Ex athletic director

Norman B. Johansen, NAU athletics director from 1970 to 1974, died May 4, 2009, at Banner-Baywood Medical Center in Mesa. He was 88.

Dr. Johansen was born Feb. 21, 1921, in Clinton, Iowa, to Eden and Nettie Johansen. He graduated from Clinton High School and Iowa State Teachers College (now the University of Northern Iowa). He earned his master’s degree from the University of Iowa and doctoral degree from the University of Missouri.

He served in the Army Air Corps during World War II, flying B-24 and B-25 bombers in training and cargo transport planes from India into China during the war.

Dr. Johansen coached at Pella High School in Iowa and went on to coach football, wrestling and golf and teach physical education at Wartburg College in Waverly, Iowa. His football teams won Iowa Conference Championships in 1958 and 1959. His wrestling teams won Iowa Conference Championships in 1954 and 1960.

He was in the administration of the Missouri Physical Education Department for four years and served as athletics director at NAU from 1970 to 1974. He also worked in the Maricopa Community College District administrative offices for several years and became dean of Continuing Education at Mesa Community College until he retired in 1990.

He married Genevra Alice Kirchman in 1946. She preceded him in death in 1987. He married Fran Gohlke in August 1989 and lived in Mesa where they had have been active members of King of Glory Lutheran Church in Mesa.

Survivors include his wife Fran; sons Michael of Petersburg, Ind., and Richard (Chris) of Brazil, Ind.; stepson Jason (Masumi) of College Station, Texas; stepdaughters Dionelle (Rick) of College Station, Texas; and Diona (Mike) of Jones, Okla.;  and 12 grandchildren.

A memorial service is pending.