If a need arose, Johnson was soon near

Doug Boock
Wayne Johnson lent his hand to many needs in Bishop Hill over the past few years. Mr. Johnson died on March 6.

Wayne Johnson lived in Bishop Hill less than 10 years. But that was long enough to make a difference in the village.

“He was a tremendous volunteer,” explained Mike Wendel, who manages the Steeple Building for the Bishop Hill Heritage Association. “Always willing to lend a hand.”

Johnson died March 6. He was 71.

Johnson, who lived in Galva before moving to Bishop Hill, donated his time at the Steeple Building and several other places around town. If a hand was needed, he wasn’t far away.

“A heck of a nice guy. He was always there when you need someone,” Wendel said.

That included the Bishop Hill Village Board, of which Johnson was a member at the time of his passing. It was one of several ways in which he did what he could to help out.

“He helped many individuals in Bishop Hill, it wasn’t just the town board,” noted Morris Nelson of Galva, himself an ardent Bishop Hill supporter. “He was there to help when a lady needed something like help when her lawn mower wouldn’t work or something. He was generous with his time.”

A 1955 Galva High School graduate, Johnson spent a lot of time working in Bishop Hill Cemetery, helping keep it beautiful.

One of his chief outreaches was done through his wood-working skills. He often used them to provide eye-catching pieces that he donated for use as raffle drawing prizes or other fund-raisers for various groups.

“He was an incredible craftsman when it came to building things,” Wendel said. “There wasn’t anything he couldn’t do.”

Along with woodworking, he enjoyed gardening and his cats.

Johnson is survived by his wife of nearly 48 years, Sandy, and also by a cousin, Carol (Myron) Townsend of Galva.