Johnson, Rodney Richard died peacefully on March 29, 2019, at Cedarcrest Manor Nursing Home in Washington, Missouri, with Anne, his loving wife of 64 years, at his side.
Rodney was born on May 1, 1930, to John Titus and Harriet Isabella Lamberg Johnson in Red Wing, Minnesota. Because his father owned Johnson Tires, the local newspaper ran the headline “Little Tire Man is Born.”
Rod earned a degree in business administration from Gustavus Adolphus College. He served as a U.S. Army counterintelligence agent in Germany and married Anne Ekberg when he returned home in 1955. His graduate studies were at Florida State University in Tallahassee, where he earned an MSW in 1958.
Rod and Anne settled in Webster Groves, Missouri, in 1961, where they lived for the next 50 years. Washington, Missouri, became their home in 2011.
Rodney worked at Edgewood Children’s Center and with Lutheran Family and Children Services before teaming with Anne in a private therapeutic practice. Rod was always a voracious reader, well known to many librarians and booksellers. He was a spiritual seeker who was active in formal and impromptu discussion groups; Rod “talked deep.”
Rod and Anne were founding members of Marriage Enrichment in St. Louis. His love of spelunking, canoeing and mountain trails was enthusiastically shared with his friends and family. Rod took up painting and poetry in his later years and exhibited in art shows around the area.
He was a dedicated husband, father and grandfather who was dearly loved by his family. His warm jovial spirit lives forever in the memories of all who knew him.
Rodney is survived by his wife, Anne; a sister, Phyllis Wegner; two children, Daniel Johnson (Molly Tillay) and Holly Stratton Schmitt; four grandchildren, Jay and Joshua Johnson, and Anne Elise and Timothy Stratton.
Memorials can be sent to “Save the Children” (savethechildren.org) or the Washington, Missouri, public library.
A memorial service will be held at Peace Lutheran Church in Washington, Missouri, on June 22 at 10 a.m.