March 4, 1919 - August 21, 2019
Vernon B. Johnson, 100, of Fairbury passed away on Wednesday evening, August 21 at JCHL Gardenside in Fairbury. Vernon was born in Oakland, on March 4, 1919 to Gustav and Ida (Nelson) Johnson. He was one of eight children, and grew up in and around Oakland. When he was 11 years old, he went to live with his Uncle Oscar and Aunt Clara (Nelson) Anderson, and worked on their dairy farm until he was 22 years old. He graduated from Oakland High School in 1938, and married his high school sweetheart, Elaine in 1941. Vernon enlisted in the US Navy in 1941 and served his country during WWII from 1942-1945 in the South Pacific.
Vernon and Elaine moved to Fairbury after the war in November 1945, and he worked as an electrician for Stull Electric. On Mr. Stull's death in 1958, he purchased the business and operated Johnson Electric in Fairbury for over 50 years. Vernon and Elaine celebrated 72 years of marriage before her passing in 2013. Vernon was a member of First Christian Church in Fairbury, serving as past deacon, elder and chairman of the board. Vernon loved his church family, and attended church every week. Vernon was a member of the Fairbury Lion's Club, serving as past president. He was a member of the Elks, VWF and American Legion.
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Vernon was an active and supporting member of the Fairbury community, often donating time and financial resources. He loved attending school and sporting events of his grandchildren and great-grandchildren and community concerts in Fairbury. Vernon was a friend to everyone, helped anyone in need and saw good in all people.
He is survived by his three children, Gene (Jackie) of Beatrice, Jerrill (Deb) of Elkhorn, and Joan of David City. He is also survived by 7 grandchildren and 13 great-grandchildren, nieces, nephews, and friends. Vernon was preceded in death by his parents, five brothers and three sisters.
Family will receive friends on Monday evening, August 26 at the Gerdes-Meyer Funeral Home from 6 to 8 pm. His memorial service will be on Tuesday, August 27 at 10:30 am at First Christian Church in Fairbury, with a luncheon following at 11:30. Graveside services and burial will be at 4 pm in the Salem Covenant Church Cemetery in rural Oakland. Memorials are suggested to First Christian Church of Fairbury or AseraCare. Gerdes-Meyer Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.