Former senator, champion of vet assistance programs, Maurice Johannessen honored at Veterans Day tribute

SHASTA COUNTY, Calif., — Former state Senator and California Secretary of Veterans Affairs Kaare Maurice Johannessen was recently honored for his service to our country and the North State region, as well as his long-time and ongoing commitment to veterans and the community at a Veteran’s Day event in Redding.

Johannessen was instrumental in the funding and creation of the California Veterans Home in Redding as well as the Northern California Veterans Cemetery in Igo. In addition to his extensive work with and for veterans, he has contributed to countless community-based projects in and around Shasta County; including the restoration of the Cascade Theatre, the Redding Trail System expansion, contributions to local law enforcement’s K-9 programs, and much more.


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The well-attended Nov. 11 event, which was held at the Redding Memorial Veterans Hall and organized by Carl and Linda Bott from KCNR (Free Fire Radio) in Redding, saw local leaders, elected officials, law enforcement, and many organizations that provide support to veterans in attendance.

“His understanding of veterans and what they experience drove him to fight for better services and facilities in the North State and throughout all of California,” Assemblywoman Megan Dahle said after the event and tribute.

“During his time as Secretary of the California Department of Veterans Affairs, he refocused the department’s efforts to building Veterans Homes and improving California’s overall support to veterans,” she continued; adding, “The recognition of Senator Johannessen and the stories shared by those whose lives he has impacted (were) truly special.”

Echoing his wife’s sentiments after the tribute, Senator Brian Dahle went on to say, “His work on behalf of California veterans is unparalleled, and his determination to deliver for his district while serving in the Legislature sets a very high standard.”

“His legacy and leadership are commendable,” the Senator continued.

Maurice Johannessen (L) is seen with Assemblywoman Megan Dahle and husband, Senator Brian Dahle, during Thursday’s special tribute that honored the former state Senator and California Secretary of Veterans Affairs for his many years of service to the community. Photo Courtesy of Brian and Megan Dahle

Johannessen resides in Redding with his wife, Marianne, and is the father of four; including sons Steven, Mark, and Scott Johannessen and daughter Sheila Cleveland.

Johannessen joined the US Army during the Korean War after emigrating to the United States at just 17-years-old from Oslo, Norway. He later made his living in real estate before being elected to the Redding City Council, where he served as mayor from 1988 until 1989. He won election to the Shasta County Board of Supervisors the following year, serving as its chairman until 1992.

He next ran for the California State Senate in a 1993 special election for the 4th district and served as state Senator until 2002, when he was appointed by then-Governor Gray Davis as Secretary of the California Department of Veterans Affairs; a post he held until 2003.

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Johannessen is scheduled to speak at another Veterans Day celebration this Wednesday, Nov. 17, at Cattleman’s Steakhouse on Hilltop Drive in Redding. The event, which is being hosted by Redding Republican Women Federated of Shasta County, is scheduled from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m., and reservations to attend can be directed to Linda Parham at (530) 524-9733.

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Trevor Montgomery, 50, moved in 2017 to the Intermountain area of Shasta County from Riverside County and runs Riverside County News Source (RCNS) and Shasta County News Source (SCNS).

Additionally, he writes or has written for several other news organizations; including Riverside County based newspapers Valley News, Valley Chronicle, Anza Valley Outlook, and Hemet & San Jacinto Chronicle; the Bonsall/Fallbrook Village News in San Diego County; and Mountain Echo in Shasta County. He is also a regular contributor to Thin Blue Line TV and Law Enforcement News Network and has had his stories featured on news stations throughout the Southern California and North State regions.

Trevor spent 10 years in the U.S. Army as an Orthopedic Specialist before joining the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department in 1998. He was medically retired after losing his leg, breaking his back, and suffering both spinal cord and brain injuries in an off-duty accident. (Click here to see segment of Discovery Channel documentary of Trevor’s accident.)

During his time with the sheriff’s department, Trevor worked at several different stations; including Robert Presley Detention Center, Southwest Station in Temecula, Hemet/Valle Vista Station, Ben Clark Public Safety Training Center, and Lake Elsinore Station; along with other locations.

Trevor’s assignments included Corrections, Patrol, DUI Enforcement, Boat and Personal Water-Craft based Lake Patrol, Off-Road Vehicle Enforcement, Problem Oriented Policing Team, and Personnel/Background Investigations. He finished his career while working as a Sex Crimes and Child Abuse Investigator and was a court-designated expert in child abuse and child sex-related crimes.

Trevor has been married for more than 30 years and was a foster parent to more than 60 children over 13 years. He is now an adoptive parent and his “fluid family” includes 13 children and 18 grandchildren.