Food Culinary 03

Peter A. Johnson

August 30, 1924 ~ September 27, 2021 (age 97)


Peter Adonis Johnson passed away peacefully on September 27, 2021. He was born to immigrant parents in Toronto, Ontario, Canada on August 30, 1924. Speaking only Greek and Macedonian until he was 5 years of age, he attended public high school and immediately joined the Royal Canadian Air Force after graduation. Being multi-lingual, Peter was assigned to the Intelligence division to decipher code. After discharge from the Air Force, he embarked on his career in bagel baking at New York Bagel in Detroit, Michigan. In 1959 he married Joan Allen from Windsor and began a family. Having perfected his craft as a bagel baker, he decided it was time to go out on his own and opened shops in Southfield and Ann Arbor. It was in Ann Arbor where he hired a young dynamo that possessed the drive and ambition necessary to work alongside him without missing a beat. Peter brought that young man, Barry Greenblatt, onboard as a full partner and opened the Bagel Place in Toledo, Ohio in 1972. Even though Barry was 25 years his junior, they worked in perfect harmony, known to many as “the boy and the goy” until Peter retired in 1979. Barry continued to grow the business into what is now Barry Bagels. They remained close until Barry’s death in 2014. After retiring, Peter and Joan moved to Winter Park, Florida where they lived 20 years enjoying entertaining all their friends and family that came to visit from up north. They enjoyed traveling to many destinations including Africa and several to trips to Europe. They moved back to Toledo in 2005 to be closer to their children and grandchildren. Peter will always be remembered for his kind, gentle ways, his quick wit, his boundless wisdom, and his razor-sharp sense of humor. He is preceded in death by his parents, Adonis and Magdalena; and his sister, Helen. He is survived by his wife of 62 years, Joan; children Laura Tobias (Greg), Paula Johnson (Pam Briggs) and Curt Johnson (Tiara Keahey); grandchildren, Carrie Tobias Kundinger (Chad), Lindsey Tobias Camargo (Fernando), and Peter Simon Johnson; nephew, Jimmy Dimitroff (Helen); sister-in-law, Daphne Allen; 7 great grandchildren and 2 great nephews.

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