Mr. Roland D. “Johnny” Johnson, 90, passed away at 10:55 p.m. on Jan. 17, 2022, at his home, surrounded by his loving family.
Johnny was born on Sept. 15, 1931, in Galesburg, Illinois, to Ralph Gunnard and Genevieve (Smith) Johnson. He married Kay F. Brodie on April 20, 1959, in Galesburg.
Left to cherish his memory are his wife of 62 years, Kay of Galesburg; his two sons, Steve (the late Billie) Johnson-Munson of Evans, Georgia, and Brad (Kerri) Johnson of Peoria, Illinois; his three daughters, Jo Lynn (Bobby) Clay and Lisa (Robbie) Selfridge, both of Galesburg, and Kristin (Detlef) Petersen of Lyn Ontario Canada; his sister-in-law, Marie Johnson of Memphis, Tennessee; 10 grandchildren; 12 great-grandchildren with a 13th on the way; and several nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his parents and three brothers, Larry, Max and Kenneth Johnson.
After attending Galesburg schools, Johnny went on to serve in the U.S. National Guard. He held several jobs, including serving as a Galesburg police officer and working as a milkman for Meadow Gold and Park Drive dairies, before becoming co-owner of Brodie Meat Products, a family business that thrived 50+ years under his leadership. Johnny and Kay attended First Baptist Church of Galesburg.
Johnny led an interesting and fun-filled life. He was always adventurous — from getting his pilot’s license to riding dirt bikes with his brothers-in-law to whitewater rafting with his grown sons. He was an avid reader and had many interests through the years. He spent many hours researching and collecting military artifacts and other items of unique historical significance, a passion he shared with his brother Kenneth. He was a skilled craftsman, building furniture treasured by his family, and enjoyed attending Galesburg Silver Streaks basketball games with Kay and their friends. He had a wonderful sense of humor and loved to joke and tease, and when his grandchildren came along, he found new opportunities to play —building kites, body-surfing in the Atlantic, mastering Atari and flying foam planes around the backyard.
But what he loved most of all was his wife and the family they built together. Theirs was a true love story. For 62 years, they embraced the joys of life, helped each other through the difficult times and put family first. At the end, she was holding his hand and they were surrounded by their children — a testament to the love they shared.
Funeral service will be at noon on Monday, January 24, 2022, at Hinchliff-Pearson-West Funeral Directors and Cremation Services Galesburg Chapel, with the Rev. Daniel Siems officiating. Visitation will be from 11:00 a.m. to noon Monday at the chapel. For those unable to attend the service, it will be live-streamed on the funeral home’s Facebook page beginning at noon. https://www.facebook.com/Hinchliff-Pearson-West-Funeral-Directors-and-Cremation-Services-160333664037824/. Burial will be in Oak Lawn Memorial Gardens. Memorials may be made to First Baptist Church, Beacon of Hope Hospice or the Galesburg Rescue Mission and Women’s Shelter. Online condolences may be made at www.h-p-w.com.