Johnson, J.R., Merrill, Michigan

Passed away Tuesday, June 24, 2014 at New Hope Valley. Age 90 years. The son of the late John M. and Ada (Tyler) Johnson was born November 7, 1923 in Attica, Randolph County, Arkansas. He married Vita (Billie) June Dismang, March 10, 1945. She survives him. In his younger years he farmed in Arkansas and raised cotton with teams of horses and mules. He was a crane operator and welder with Wickes Boiler, in Saginaw, before beginning employment on the LDS Farm (Detroit Stake Farm) in Merrill, MI. in 1960. He proudly and devotedly managed the farm for 26 years and developed it into a leading producer of sugar beets and beef cattle. After his retirement from the farm he was employed by Avis Car Rental. Some of his interests were his family, his church, farming, the Detroit Tigers, horses and dogs. Surviving besides his loving wife of 69 years, Billie, are his two sons and their wives. John L. and Linda Johnson, Merrill, MI; Joel C. and Dawn Johnson, Clare, MI; ten grandchildren, numerous great and great great grandchildren; his sisters and brother-in-law, Mary Pifer and Sue and Curtis Bentley; many special nieces and nephews. He was predeceased by a daughter and son-in-law, Gayle and Bill Tack; two brothers, three sisters, Elmer and Lawson Johnson; Nell Scheller, Wilma Tyler and Stella Wanda Ratliff. The funeral service will take place on Friday, June 27, 2014 at 11:00 a.m. at the W. L. Case and Co. Funeral Chapel in Merrill. Bishop Marc Dudley will officiate with burial in Lakefield Twp. Cemetery. Friends may call at the Chapel in Merrill from 3:00-8:00 p.m. Thursday. Those planning an expression of sympathy may wish to consider the Jonesfield/Lakefield Fire Department, the Merrill Scholarship fund or the charity of their choice. Mr. Johnsonís family would like to thank the team of caregivers that cared for J.R., Billie, and Gayle in their home before they entered assisted living. They would also like to thank the caring staff at New Hope Valley, the A and D Health Care Staff, Heartland Hospice, in addition to many supportive friends and family members.