Wendell Quentin Johnson, 93, of Paxton died Friday, January 24, 2014 at Illinois Knights Templar Nursing Home in Paxton. Funeral services will be held at 1:00 pm Sunday, January 26, 2014 at the Baier Family Funeral Services, 406 E Pells ST, Paxton with Rev. Craig Pinley officiating. Burial will follow in Glen Cemetery, Paxton with military graveside rites by the Paxton American Legion Prairie Post 150. . Visitation will be one hour prior to the funeral.
Mr. Johnson was born on October 6, 1920, in Paxton, IL, the son of Ed E. and Esther (Johnson) Johnson. He married Shirley Hileman on November 2, 1946. She died in April, 2011. He is survived by a daughter, Diane Johnson, and son, Duane Johnson, both of Paxton, and five grandchildren, Jane Andrew of San Francisco, CA, Jean Andrew of Ellsworth, Kara Kinzinger of Gibson City, and Victor Johnson and Brock Johnson of Paxton. In addition to his wife, he was preceded in death by his parents and son Dale Johnson.
Mr. Johnson graduated from Loda High School and served in the U.S. Coast Guard during World War II on the USS Acacia. After the war, he and his brother joined their uncle in his insurance and real estate business that had been established in 1898. Mr. Johnson owned and operated the business, Johnson & Johnson, until his retirement in 1986. Until recent years, he continued working there as mentor and consultant to his children and grandchildren who now operate the business.
A very active community leader in Paxton, Mr. Johnson was instrumental in establishing the Nelson Field Ball Park as a place for returning servicemen to play fast-pitch softball. The ball park later became a Little League baseball field where Mr. Johnson was a Little League coach and manager for over twenty years.
He was active in Paxton Chamber of Commerce, Paxton Service Club, American Legion, Veterans of Foreign Wars, and the Evangelical Covenant Church where he was a deacon and church treasurer. He was a long time Republican Party precinct committeeman and vice-president of the Ford County Republicans.
He was on the board of directors of the Paxton Building & Loan, Agricultural Banking Corp., and on the First National Bank in Paxton Board of Directors for over 50 years.
As a hobby, he spent many years assisting local auctioneers as an auction clerk and helped with the Paxton Community Sale in the same capacity. He enjoyed golfing, bowling, attending Chicago Cub games, and University of Illinois basketball and football games as a season ticket holder for over 65 years. On family vacations, he took his children to nearly all the major league baseball stadiums in the U.S.
Memorials can be made to Evangelical Covenant Church in Paxton, American Legion Prairie Post 150, or the Paxton Veterans of Foreign Wars.