Reverend RC (Ralph Carrol) Johnson, 95, passed away Sunday, December 29, 2019, at Allure of Geneseo. A funeral service celebrating his life was held at 11:00 a.m. on Monday, January 6, 2020, at Vandemore Funeral Homes & Crematory – Geneseo Chapel. Burial will follow at Oakwood Cemetery, Geneseo. Military Honors were accorded by Don Cherry VFW Post. Memorials may be made to First Presbyterian Church of Geneseo or The Henry County Humane Society.
RC was the born December 5,1924, at home on the family farm southwest of Geneseo, the son of Ralph Elmer Johnson and Nettie Elizabeth (Sand) Johnson. He graduated from Geneseo High School in 1942. He volunteered for the US. Navy, and served in the SW Pacific, Manus Island, New Guinea and Luzon, and Manila Harbor in the Philippines. He escaped death from a massive explosion on the ammunitions ship, USS Mt. Hood, but he safely returned home. He used the GI bill to attend college. He studied for two years at Park College, Parkville, MO and completed his degree in Agricultural Education at Iowa State College in 1952. He was united in marriage to Maxine Nichols, July 25, 1952, in Nausha, IA. She preceded him in death in 1997. He later married Carol Reig in 2000, in Geneseo. She preceded him in death in 2016. While teaching vocational agriculture in Iowa, he answered a personal, lifelong call to the Christian ministry. He entered school at Drake Divinity School and graduated in 1961 with an MDIV. He was ordained in the Disciples of Christ in December 1961. RC and Maxine served congregations for 43 years in various Iowa communities including: Montezuma, Deep River, Pleasantville, Bladensburg, Jefferson, and Exira, and two Baptist congregations in southern Iowa (1957 – 2000). As a young man, RC found adventure and fulfillment with travel and work. During the summer of 1947, he worked in the Presbyterian National Mission field in small mountain communities of western North
Carolina. In the summer of 1951, he drove to Alaska to do construction work just north of the Arctic Circle at Bettles Field. He earned enough money to return to Iowa State College and graduate in 1952 with a degree in Vocational Agricultural Education. Other summers were spent as a farm worker in his home area, at John Deere Spreader Works and Malleable Iron Works in Moline, IL. RC thoroughly enjoyed meeting people and sharing conversation and encouragement. His spiritual life and relationship with God were at the core of his life. He loved his country and was proud to have served during WWII. He loved animals, especially his dear black cat, Quentin Harvey Button. Reading and learning about other cultures and geography were favorite past times, but most of all he loved God and his family.
He is survived by his son, David (Sheila) Johnson, of Indialantic, FL; daughter, Carol Ann (Bing) Nishiura, Winston Salem, NC; step-children, Kent (Carol) Johnson, Geneseo, Craig (Karen) Johnson, Bloomington, MN, and Scott (Jennifer) Johnson, Geneseo; grandchildren, Abby, Hannah, Gabriel, Luke, and Metta Johnson, Kurt and Tony Hutchinson, and Christena Callahan; great-grandchildren, Aidan and Rowan Callahan; sister, Lauretta Greene, Geneseo; and sister-in-law,
Ralph was preceded in death by his parents, his wives, Maxine and Carol, his brother, Leonard and his sister, Helen.