Gene Johnson, 91, died Saturday afternoon, November 17, 2012. His passing was peaceful, and he was surrounded by the family he loved. Gene was born five miles east of Mankato, KS, on August 16, 1921, to Ray Johnson and Nettie (Smith) Johnson. He grew up on the family farm north of Mankato, attended country schools, and graduated from Mankato High School in 1939. After graduation, Gene continued farming until he joined the U.S. Army. He was a medic during WWII in the north of England, and as well served after the war, escorting wounded soldiers on hospital trains to medical facilities close to their homes. Gene married Marjorie Walter of Red Cloud, NE., on December 11, 1943. They were married 62 years prior to her death in 2004. To their union were born five children, Chuck, Susan, Diane, Bobby and Chris.
After the war, Gene returned to Mankato where he worked for his uncle, Finley Smith, at a Sinclair Service station. Gene and his brother-in-law Bud Platt purchased a business in Burr Oak, KS., in 1948, where they operated Johnson & Platt Service Station until they retired in 1980. In his retirement, Gene followed his tradition of care-taking in tending his mother Nettie Johnson, his mother-in-law Catherine Walter, his brother-in-law Robert Walter, and his wife Marjorie. Gene's own health declined after Marjorie's death in 2004, and he entered the Long-Term Care Unit of Jewell County Hospital, in January, 2007.
Gene was preceded in death by his wife Marjorie, both his parents, his sister Marceline Platt, his infant daughter Diane, and his son Chris. He is survived by his son Chuck and wife Joyce, his daughter Susan Figge and husband Dale, and son Bob and wife Marilyn; nine grandchildren, and twelve great-grandchildren (and two more in the oven).
A celebration of Gene's life will be held 11 A.M. Tuesday morning, November 20, 2012, at the Christian Church in Burr Oak, KS, led by friend Kelly McNichols. Mrs. Rosetta Jeffery will be the organist, and the hymns will be "Beyond The Sunset" and "In The Garden". Casket bearers will be: Craig FIgge, Travis Figge, Jerod Johnson, John Cupell, Chip Johnson, Pete Johnson, Angela Sciner, Carissa Zak, and Erin Volker. Interment will follow the service at the Burr Oak Cemetery. The family will greet friends at Melby Mortuary in Mankato from 6 - 8 P.M. on Monday, November 19, 2012. Memorials may be made to the Activities Department of the Long-Term Care Unit of the Jewell County Hospital. Melby Mortuary, Mankato, Kansas, was in charge of arrangements.
The family wishes to thank the staff of the Long-Term Care Center for the kindnesses and considerations shown our father during his almost six-year stay with them. Their affections and patience made it possible for him to once again be a happy man.