Kenneth R. Johnson, 79, formerly of Rock Island, passed away peacefully on Tuesday, Feb. 12, 2019, at Prestige Assisted Living Center, in Green Valley, Ariz. A memorial mass will be at 10 a.m. Monday, March 4 at Christ the King Catholic Church, in Moline. A visitation will be from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday, March 3 at Esterdahl Mortuary & Crematory, Ltd., in Moline. Entombment of cremains will be at Calvary Cemetery, in Rock Island. In lieu of flowers, the family asks that memorials be made to the Hook a Kid On Golf Program through the National Alliance for Youth Sports.
Ken was born Dec. 31, 1939, in Rock Island, the son of Wilbur and Grace (Mortier) Johnson. He graduated from Rock Island High School and Augustana College
Ken spent the majority of his career with International Harvester/Farmall. He started as a mail boy riding around the East Moline Harvester Plant on a bicycle. He worked in various accounting positions with International Harvester, ultimately becoming Manager of Plant Accounting at the Farmall Plant in Rock Island. When International Harvester was purchased by JI Case, he continued his accounting career with Cooper Industries in Springfield, Ohio, until his retirement. After retirement, he relocated to Green Valley, Ariz.
Ken loved spending time with family and friends. From family vacations to Minnesota when the kids were young to boating vacations with a large group caravanning to Lake of the Ozarks in the 70s and early 80s. He was an avid golfer and scored a hole in one at Byron Hills Golf Course in 2010. He loved to watch “Jeopardy” every night, and he loved to dance.
Ken had a great sense of humor and was always quick with a joke and a wry smile. He delighted his kids and grandkids with his goofy magic tricks; a tradition which will live on for generations.
Ken is survived by his devoted mate and partner, Maureen Saunders; his children, Susan (Doug) Byrum, of Brighton, Mich.; Kris Stipp, of Evanston; and Todd (Gail) Johnson, of Mahomet; his grandchildren, Jeff Walker, Kirsten (Walker) Babecki, Sandy (Stipp) Minea, Kenny Johnson and Marlena Johnson; four great-grandchildren; his brother, Joseph (Nancy) Johnson, of Milan; his sister, Kathy (Dan) Decap, of East Moline; and his former wife, Patricia Schneider, of Tucson, Ariz. He was preceded in death by his parents.