March 28, 1941 - March 15, 2017
Gary Arthur Johnson March 28, 1941 – March 15, 2017 Dad was 75 years old when he died; he passed in the early morning hours peacefully in his sleep. He was released from multiple medical conditions that aged him considerably. In the end, his body betrayed his will to live long and love well. Love was a defining characteristic of our father. He loved and he gave of himself. He loved like a little boy who pinches his sister or pushes the girl he likes. He was ornery and he loved to see everyone laugh. He loved like a child, whomever shared time with him, listening to his stories. He carried a red handkerchief from the time he was 5 years old due to his allergies. He was teased for being a redhead. He bought his first golf club from the JC Penny catalog. There were so many stories. He moved to Florida chasing the fish tales that Don Pence shared and he developed a community of friends in Okeechobee. As an adult he loved companionship, the land he farmed, golf, and his families. Dad never let an opportunity to get to know someone slip by. From standing in line with strangers, to business associates, and service technicians. He kept countless notebooks of those conversations, including names of their spouses and children along with birthdates and interests. He studied the land and learned how to care for it. He worked at the Soil and Water Conservation District labeling soil samples and making maps. He installed tile lines and waterways for erosion control. He served on Butler Township counsel where he would describe which bridges were being repaired and how the roads would be cleared in the winter. He was awarded 3rd place overall in the nation for corn yield in 1985. Golf was his favorite pastime. If you really wanted to spend time with him, you had to play a round or two of golf. And if you were willing to listen, he would watch your game and provide you with advice which would improve your swing and your handicap. Dad had golfing and hunting buddies all over the country. Annual deer hunting trips in southern Illinois were reciprocated with pheasant hunting in the Rankin area. He loved as a grandfather, trying to follow the activities of all the little ones in his life, cheering them in their successes. He enjoyed watching and participating in the growth and development of children. For his own children he was often playing basketball or baseball in the yard, driving or chipping golf balls into the barn, and driving groups to wrestling tournaments. His great love was the Bible. He studied the history and customs of the Bible. He joined study groups and asked questions. He was stymied by contradictory lessons. He prayed often. He was part of the church his entire life including Sunday school, vacation Bible school, cleaning rotation, church counsel, adult Bible study, and regular attendance. Grace Lutheran Church and all its local community were very dear to him. Gary is survived by his two sisters, Janis and Sharon and their spouses Joe Barnes and Rob Jones. His two children David and Diana and their spouses Judith Estacio and Kevin Ford. His three grandchildren, Isabel, Ethan and Leila. He leaves the family farm, 130 years of Swedish family history in America. Service for his remembrance will be held at Grace Lutheran Church in Rankin on Friday, July 28, 2017 at 6:00pm. All are welcome. A light dinner will follow at the church. In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to Grace Lutheran Church or a kind and generous act.
Gary Arthur Johnson March 28, 1941 – March 15, 2017 Dad was 75 years old when he died; he passed in the early morning hours peacefully in his sleep. He was released from multiple medical conditions that aged him considerably. In the end,... View Obituary & Service Information
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Gary Arthur Johnson
March 28, 1941 – March 15, 2017
Dad was 75...
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