Reverend Wayne W. Johnson, 84, Fort Wayne, died peacefully at Coventry Meadows, Fort Wayne, at 5:04 a.m. Wednesday, Oct. 28, 2020.
He was born on Jan. 20, 1936, in Aboite Twp., Allen County, a son of the late William L. and Alice B. (Zitzman) Johnson. As a young boy, the family moved to Washington Twp., Whitley County, where he graduated from Washington Center High School in 1954. He continued his education at Butler University, Indianapolis, receiving a bachelor’s degree. He then completed his theological studies at the Christian Theological Seminary and earned a Master of Business Administration (MBA) from the University of Chicago in 1978.
On December 18, 1954, he married his high school sweetheart, Joan L. Gibson. Their married life led them on an adventure that took them from rural Indiana to all over the world. They had homes in Indianapolis, Vistula, Kokomo, Columbia City, Washington D.C., Sellersburg, Seaford, Dela., Deltaville, Va., Stuart, Fla., and back to Fort Wayne during their 56 years of marriage. Joan died Nov. 7, 2010.
His pastoral duties lead him to serve many congregations. In March of 1966, he was appointed CEO of the Whitley County REMC, serving in that capacity until November of 1976. From 1978 – 1983, he served with the National Rural Electrical Cooperative.
Wayne’s life objective was to “make a difference” in all of his endeavors, be it church, REMC, NRECA, real estate, and lay ministry. He will be most remembered by his family and friends for his love of cooking, music, talking, and caring for his roses.
Wayne is survived by his daughters, Cindy Ryan (Mark) of Fort Wayne and Elaine Berens (John) of Glenview, Ill.; proud grandpa of Caitlin Ryan (Brian Marks), Patrick Ryan (Laney Glick), Michael Berens, Michele Fox (Ryan), Annie Hendricks (Andy), and Scott Berens.
Additionally, he was preceded in death by a brother, Phillip W. Johnson.
There will be no public service at this time due to health considerations for family and guests. A celebration of life will be held at a later date. Arrangements by Smith & Sons Funeral Home, Columbia City.
In lieu of flowers, memorials are to Matthew 25 Health & Dental Clinic or Fort Wayne Rescue Mission.