May 27, 1923 — Oct. 6, 2020

Dorothy Walker Tienson Johnson died peacefully on Oct. 6, 2020, in Astoria, at the age of 97.

She was born Dorothy Ann Walker on May 27, 1923, in Astoria, to Dr. Donald and Sadie (Swanson) Walker. Dr. Walker was a prominent dentist and concert pianist, and Dorothy’s early childhood revolved around family activities, especially music and song.

Tragedy struck in 1932, when Dr. Walker contracted brain cancer and died. The ensuing years of the Great Depression were challenging, but her interest in music continued.

She graduated from Astoria High School in 1941, and then attended Oregon State University as a music major for a year, touring the local region as a singer in a choral group and later at the Astoria USO, where she volunteered to help entertain soldiers and sailors stationed nearby.

In January 1946, she married her longtime sweetheart, John Tienson, who died in 1984. Their first child, Thane, was born later in 1946, followed by three more boys, John, David and Donald. Dorothy’s husband was a pilot during World War II and the Korean War. He considered a career in the U.S. Air Force before becoming an air traffic controller in 1957.

Dorothy and her family then relocated to the San Francisco Bay Area, first to Oakland and then to Fremont. Dorothy went to work for Alameda County in its public works department. She retired from the county in 1976, and returned to Astoria to care of her mother, and she finally learned how to drive.

She volunteered at Columbia Memorial Hospital and Peace Lutheran Church, and was a member of the North Coast Chorale. She enjoyed hiking and joined the local chapter of Mazamas.

In 1998, she married Clyde Johnson. The couple bought a small home overlooking the Columbia River and traveled in Clyde’s motor home. They spent 10 very happy years together before Clyde’s death in 2008.

Until her health began to fail, Dorothy continued to volunteer, visit with family and longtime pals, play bridge and scrabble, read mysteries and stay up late and watch favorite old movies.

Dorothy will always be remembered for her warm heart, her love for all living creatures, her ready smile and laugh and her generous spirit.

She is survived by her sons, Thane Tienson, of Portland, and John Tienson, of Eddyville; her grandchildren, Erik Tienson, of Hood River, Julia Tienson, of Portland, and Linnea Baker and Breanna Tienson, both of Willows, California; and several great-grandchildren.

She was preceded in death by her first husband, John Tienson; and their sons, David and Donald; and her second husband, Clyde Johnson.

The family suggests contributions be made to Columbia Riverkeeper, Clatsop County Historical Society or the Columbia River Maritime Museum.

Caldwell’s Luce-Layton Mortuary is in charge of the arrangements. Please sign our online guest book at

A celebration of Dorothy’s life will be scheduled for a later date.

To plant a tree in memory of Dorothy Johnson as a living tribute, please visit Tribute Store.

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