Jerry Johnson (1941-2022) studied history, science and nature all his life


Gerald Vernon Johnson, formerly of Roscoe, passed away peacefully on April 7, 2022, at the age of 81 in Corpus Christi, Texas. He was born in Fairfield, Illinois, on March 30, 1941, to Lyman and Corrine Johnson.

Jerry enjoyed growing up in Fairfield where he graduated from Fairfield High School excelling in sports and academics. He then joined the United States Army and was stationed in France. Upon returning home he attended Northern Illinois University where he earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees. He worked for Chrysler Corporation for over 30 years where he held a variety of positions, his last decade with them as a senior engineer.

Jerry was an avid lifelong learner and held a special interest in history, science and nature. He joined local nature groups and history and politics study groups. While living in the Rockford area he was active with the Severson Dells Nature Preserve, the conservative Rockford Institute, the Civil War Round Table, and the Roscoe Methodist Men’s group. A health and fitness advocate throughout his life, he exercised regularly and practiced healthy eating, eventually converting to a vegan lifestyle. He was active with the CHIPS alumnae group.

Jerry is predeceased by his parents, Lyman and Corine, and his brother, Ray. He is survived by his wife, Mary; his daughters, Dr. Linda McGirk Johnson (Jordan), Katherine McClendon (Guy); son, Michael Bunzel; seven grandchildren and nine great-grandchildren. He is also survived by four of his five siblings, Sterling (Carolyn), Dean (Leslie), Kent (Janice), Peggy (Robert) Clark, and eight nieces and nephews.

Visitation will be held at Sawyer George Funeral Home in Corpus Christi, TX on Tuesday, April 19, 2022, from 10:00 a.m to 1:00 p.m. with the memorial service starting at 11:30 a.m. Interment with military honors will be at Coastal Bend State Veterans Cemetery in Corpus Christi, Texas, on Tuesday, April 19, 2022, at 2:00 p.m.. A Celebration of Life fellowship will follow at Annaville Baptist Church in Corpus Christi.

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