Wayne C. Johnson, 88, Leesburg, and a long-time Hobart and Wheeler resident, passed away Saturday, July 20, 2019.
He was born on July 19, 1931, in Middletown, Conn., the son of Joseph A. Johnson and Vera May (Clark) Johnson. He was a graduate of Woodrow Wilson High School Class of 1949. He proudly served his country in the U.S. Air Force as a staff sergeant and crew chief from 1951 through 1955.
He studied diesel engine mechanics at Bailey Technical School, enabling a long and successful career at Truck City of Gary, where he progressed through many roles from mechanic to director of customer service. Wayne enjoyed vast interests and hobbies throughout his life.
For many years, he was a Porter County 4-H Horse and Pony Leader, raising Quarter Horses at his Wheeler farm. Fishing and boating were lifelong passions and he was a bass club member. His retirement home on the water in Leesburg, where he and his wife of 39 years, Susan K. Johnson, resided, gave him constant joy.
He served on the board of directors for SPEC Senior Center in North Webster for over ten years. He won many awards for his wood carvings and enjoyed the friendship of his fellow carvers.
The Air Force must have ignited his love for airplanes, as he earned his pilot’s license, purchased an airplane and also flew model airplanes and attended many air shows. Wayne cherished the experience of the October 2016 Honor Flight trip he and his son, Wayne Jr., made to Washington D.C.
In all things, he loved the conversation and comradery of his fellow friends and hobbyists. He was a devoted, loving (and fun-loving) husband, father, brother, uncle, grandfather, volunteer and friend.
Wayne Johnson is survived by his wife, Susan K. Johnson; five children, Deborah A. Campbell, Wayne (Deborah) Johnson, Jr., Lori (Matt) Blaschke, Michele (Glen Pilkington) Bobele, Michael David (Janice) Bobele; brother, Robert Johnson; numerous grandchildren and great- grandchildren.
He was also preceded in death by his three children, Susan M. Johnson, Catherine Wilson and Alice Vendl, and his sister, Shirley M. Beaudry.
A visitation for Wayne will be held from 10 a.m. until the noon service, Friday, July 26, at Rees Funeral Home, Hobart Chapel, 600 W. Old Ridge Rd., Hobart, with burial at Graceland Cemetery.