Ronald Claire Johnson, Sr. (78) of Wheeler


Published on June 28 2016 7:22 am

Ronald Claire Johnson, Sr., 78, of Wheeler went to be the Lord at 3:29pm Monday, June 27, 2016 at HSHS St. John's Hospital in Springfield, IL after suffering a heart attack.

Funeral services celebrating Ronnie's life will be held at 10:00 AM Wednesday, July 6 at the Latona Church of Christ in Latona with Mike Knepper and Nate Hagen officiating. Burial will be on the Ronnie and Tanya Johnson family farm in rural Wheeler. Visitation will be from 4-7pm Tuesday at the church with Masonic services at 7pm. Memorials may be made to the Shriners' Hospital for Children. Arrangements are under the care of Meyer Funeral Home in Dieterich.

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Ronald Claire Johnson Sr. better known as “Ronnie” was born in Jasper County, Illinois, on October 21, 1937, the son of Tony W. and Floris (Wetherholt) Johnson. Ronnie graduated from Newton Community High School with the Class of 1955. He married his high school sweetheart, Tanya Morrison, on May 5, 1957, and they lived, loved, laughed, and bickered for 59 years. He was a member of the Latona Church of Christ, Winterrowd Masonic Lodge #664, Scottish Rite, Ainad Shrine Club, Jasper County Shrine Club, and was a North Muddy Township Trustee for 16 years. He was a lifelong farmer working from early childhood helping his father, doing what he loved up to the day he went to the hospital. He loved simple things in life from his 1957 two-cylinder John Deere and “Hee Haw” re-runs to more advanced things like his modern GPS guided machinery. He was dedicated to donating blood for years, adding up to several gallons until health reasons prohibited. He was devoted to his children and grandchildren and always had a smile and a wave for everyone up and down the road. He gave combine rides to all of the neighborhood children, young and old. He once came upon an Asian man at the end of his field that had stopped to watch him drive the combine, he invited the gentleman into the cab and they rode around the field without being able to speak a word. Ronnie was a pillar of the community and will be greatly missed.

Ronnie is survived by his wife of 59 years, Tanya...three children; Ronald Johnson, Jr., Robin (husband Kerry) Johnson-Gibson and Michael (wife Jaimee) Johnson...Five grandchildren; Anthony (wife Nicole) Johnson, Micah Shelley, Samuel Johnson, Tyson (wife Cass) Johnson, Kylee (husband Truston) Johnson-Winnett..four great-grandchildren; Noah, Maddox, Zaevon and Coral Rose...and siblings; Janice Cox-Garry, Judy Addis, David (wife Mary) Johnson, and Nancy Johnson.

Ronnie was preceded in death by his parents and his brother Joe Johnson.