American Patriotic 10

Richard Johnson

October 12, 2020


Richard C. “Dick” Johnson was welcomed home on Monday, October 12, 2020, surrounded by his family.  Dick was born on April 13, 1936, in Beason, IL, to Carl and Maryetta (Hubbard) Johnson.  He married Mary Ellen Watkins on October 26, 1958.  She survives. 

Survivors also include children Patricia (Rodney) Backsmeier, Bloomington, IL; Steve (Lori) Johnson, Auburn, IL; Julie (Steve) Slayton, Fishersville, VA; Kimberly (Brent) Carlock, Bloomington, IL; and Cindy (Darin) Schempp, Atlanta, IL.  

Grandchildren: Adam (Jodie) Backsmeier, Benjamin (Jennifer) Backsmeier, Mark (Kate) Backsmeier, Emily (Ryan) Porter, Logan (Shannon, fiance) Johnson, Chelsea (Jeromy) Williams, Cody Zeschke, Shelby Slayton, Mary Carlock, Jamie Carlock, Winton Carlock, Molly Schempp, and Cavit Schempp.

Great-grandchildren: Luke and Matthew Backsmeier, Jordan Rosa and Joshua Backsmeier, Grace Backsmeier, Jayden Acevedo and Rory Porter, Chekyrah Zeschke and Oliver Williams.

Dick is also survived by one brother, Larry Johnson, and one sister, Connie (Rich) Becker. 

He was preceded in death by his parents and one brother, Paul Johnson.

Dick graduated from Lincoln High School, Lincoln, IL.  He married Mary, his partner in life, in October of 1958.  Two months later he began his service in the Marine Reserves for 6 years.  He was proud to be a Marine.

Dick lived a full life as a husband, father, mentor, and friend.  He was a faithful family man who, along with Mary, built a happy life and loving family.  Dick dearly loved being a farmer, raising chickens, and Hereford cattle.  You mostly caught Dick in his van, delivering eggs from The White Feather Farm to businesses and families serving 3 counties; feeding (or chasing) the cattle; checking the crops, or just out for a neighborhood visit.  He was a shining example of how to celebrate a rich and full life and retired in September, after 60 years of doing what he loved.  Dick touched many lives and will be remembered for his sense of humor, sincere smile, a joy for life, and his unfailing work ethic.

In this last month, Dad taught us patience and allowed us to show him a small measure of the service he had long showed all of us.

Well done, well done my good and faithful one. You have run the race and now you’re home.  Welcome to the place where you belong.


His funeral will be at 10:30 am Saturday, October 17, 2020 at St. Peter's Lutheran Church in Emden.  Pastor John Schurter will officiate.  Visitation will be from 4 to 7 pm Friday and one hour before the service, both at the church.  Burial will be in Hartsburg Cemetery in Hartsburg. Social distancing and masks are required.

The family wishes to thank Harbor Lights Hospice for its caring services, and private caregivers Marilyn, Amanda, and Leesa for their tender care.

Memorials may be made to St. Peter’s Lutheran Preschool, 120 Market Street, Emden, IL 62635; Olympia FFA, 7832 N. 100 East Road, Stanford, IL 61774; or the Atlanta Fire Department, PO Box 513, Atlanta, IL 61723.

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