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Remembering Eric Johansen

1961 - 2021

On January 16th, 2021, owner and operator Eric J. Johansen passed away unexpectedly. EJ was passionate about is family, community, and the quality craftsmanship of his company,
EJ's painting.

Eric had a base of loyal customers and began E.J's Painting Co. in 1978 with his readily recognizable red truck adorned with "Think Positive." Since then, Eric established a legacy of service as the premier painting contractor in central Mass spanning over 40 years.


About Eric Johansen

Eric was a 1980 graduate of Wachusett Regional High School and received a bachelor's degree in physical geography and cartography from Clark University in Worcester. Industrious and hard working from a young age, Eric earned money in high school and college by working part-time at Friendly's Ice Cream and recruiting friends to help paint houses in the Holden area.


By the time he graduated college, Eric had a base of loyal customers and began EJ's Painting Co. With his readily recognizable red truck with the pink bumper adorned with "Think Positive." Eric began his 43-year career as a painting contractor with his first company name being Slap, Dab and Drip.


In 1991 at St. Andrew Bobola Church he married his best friend and soul mate, Lois Pakulski of Dudley. They lived in Holden where they raised sons, Clayton and Bennett, and where Eric became one of the town's most revered residents. A devoted father and loving husband, Eric was a role model and leader of his family in kindness, conscience and justice.

Generous with his time, resources, his heart and ideas, Eric's extensive community engagement included a plethora of activities. He was a Holden volunteer firefighter, served on the Holden Council on Aging, the Oriol Foundation, and the Public Safety Committee. He was president of White Oaks Land Preservation and a longtime supporter of Wachusett Greenways. Eric was a lifetime member of the Holden Nimrod League where he socialized with his fishing and hunting buddies and served on the Executive Board as a trustee. He was a Master Mason and a member of Rufus Putnam Lodge of Masons in Rutland.

For his generosity to the town, Eric was the recipient of numerous awards from organizations including the Holden Women's Club, Holden Grange and the Wachusett Area Chamber of Commerce. Eric and Lois were recognized for their community spirit and awarded the "Good Neighbor Award" from the Holden Democratic Town Committee. Eric also served on Holden's 275th Anniversary Committee.

With a passion for connecting people, Eric fostered friendships wherever he went, generating unity and collaboration in a selfless, nonjudgmental, unassuming manner.


The Future of EJ's Painting


Moving forward, EJ's Painting is proud to still be a family owned business, with Clayton Johansen taking the leadership role as owner and operator. We are proud to continue Eric's legacy of excellent craftsmanship, professionalism, and positive attitude.  


Under Clayton's leadership, EJ's Painting will continue to be a staple for the community and will provide our valued customers the same level of care, passion, and excellence we are well known for.

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