Richard James Johnsen, an 83-year-old Amagansett resident who enjoyed gardening, deep-sea fishing, and clamming, died of respiratory failure on April 11 in Boynton Beach, Fla.
Born in the Bronx on Dec. 26, 1929, to Rongvald Johnsen and the former Hilda Olsen, Mr. Johnsen was raised in the Throgs Neck area of that borough.
He married Joyce Hoos on Nov. 19, 1955. She said the two liked to spend the cold winter months in Boynton Beach, but looked forward to returning to Amagansett each April for the ocean, the bay, and the birds. Mr. Johnsen often went birding with local groups. He was a member of the Nature Conservancy since 2000.
The dream of a home on the South Fork was planned over a decade while the couple lived in Westchester County. They bought property in Amagansett in 1976, and designed and built their house throughout the 1980s. After Mr. Johnsen retired, the two made the hamlet their permanent residence in 1989. He planted a garden of vegetables, flowers, and evergreens.
Mr. Johnsen, who studied aeronautical engineering in Long Island City, worked for Litton Industries, a defense contractor, from which he retired. Locally, he worked for Riverhead Building Supply and Galen Williams Landscape Design.
A Korean War veteran who had served as a communications specialist, Mr. Johnsen joined the American Legion post in Amagansett.
In addition to his wife of 57 years, he is survived by three children: Richard Johnsen of New Fairfield, Conn., Carol Johnsen-Mula of Ho-Ho-Kus, N.J., and Robert Johnsen of Millerton, N.Y. Five grandchildren also survive.
A memorial service has been planned for May 11 at 11 a.m. at Zion Lutheran Church in Westwood, N.J. Memorial donations have been suggested for the Wounded Warrior Project, P.O. Box 758517, Topeka, Kan. 66675.