John Russell Johnson, age 97, of Wayne formerly Battle Creek
Posted: 10 January, 2018
Funeral services for John Russell Johnson, age 97, of Wayne formerly Battle Creek, will be held at Calvary Bible Evangelical Free Church in Wayne on Monday at 10:30 a.m. Visitation will be at Calvary Bible Evangelical Free Church of Wayne on Sunday from 5:00 p.m. - 7:00 p.m. with family present. Arrangements are with Hasemann Funeral Home Wayne. Interment with military rites will be at Greenwood Cemetery in Wayne. He passed away on Tuesday, January 9th at Brookdale-Wayne.
John Russell Johnson was born at home, August 11, 1920 to John and Cena (Larsen) Johnson near Wayne. He attended grade school before graduating from the old “training school,” at the present day, Hahn Administration Building, Wayne State College. In 1937, Russell, his brother Willard, and a friend of theirs, drove a Model T Roadster to California. Willard had taken a Diesel Correspondence Course and had to go to California for two weeks of schooling to get a diploma. Driving was the cheapest way to get there. For sleeping, they just laid their blankets out on the ground Russell farmed with horses, picked corn by hand on the family farm and worked in the Johnson Brothers Creamery in Wayne before serving in the Army during World War II. After boot camp training, he was stationed at Fort Butner, Raleigh, North Carolina. Russell was a Corporal, Cannon Company, 311th Infantry Division in the Army. On March 29, 1947, Russell married Ruth Lundberg at her parents’ home in Wayne. They farmed a year near Emerson before settling and farming near Wayne. About the first ten years, they milked by hand a dozen cows, raised hogs and cattle, grew corn, oats, and hay. Russell completed a Dun and Bradstreet Business Correspondence Course in preparation for working a few years in State National Bank in the early 1960’s. He was the first to run the new drive up window at the bank. His love for the outdoors led him back into farming full time. He relished being outside, enjoying fishing, hunting and going for long walks with his sweetheart, Ruth. They farmed together near Wayne for more than 30 years before retiring to an acreage south of Battle Creek in 1979. They delighted in gardening together, generously sharing the abundance from their sprawling garden. They appreciated traveling together, going on occasional cruises, riding scenic railroads and going for long car rides across the country. Russell was a member of Community Bible Church in Norfolk. They returned to Wayne in June of 2017 and lived at Brookdale.
Russell is survived by his children, Bruce (Yleen) Johnson of Wayne, Elaine (Bud) Lingenfelter of Norfolk, and Carl (Peggy) Johnson of Wayne; eleven grandchildren, Glenn Johnson, Cena (Harley) Lerseth, Lee Johnson, Kevin (Michelle) Lingenfelter, Kory (Kyley) Lingenfelter, Kristin (Micah) Van Maanen, Kyle (Katie) Lingenfelter, Beth (James) Romer, Renae Johnson-Brenner, Jennifer Johnson and Rachel Johnson; seventeen great-grandchildren; nieces and nephews.
Russell was preceded in death by his parents; wife, Ruth November 11, 2017; Four brothers and four sisters.