Date Of BirthMay-23-1932
Date of deathFeb-23-2020
A funeral to celebrate his faith will follow Friday, February 28, at the Elburn Community Congregational Church, 100 E. Shannon St., Elburn, IL, at 10:30 a.m. Rev. Jim Fisher, pastor of the church, will officiate with interment to follow at Blackberry Township Cemetery, Elburn.
Visitation will be from 4-7 p.m., Thursday, February 27, 2020, at Conley Funeral Home, 116 W. Pierce St., Elburn, IL.
Interment to follow services.
Ronald “Ron” Johnson, age 87, of Elburn, IL, passed away, surrounded by the love and prayers of his family, on Sunday, February 23, 2020. He was born May 23, 1932 in Aurora, IL, to loving parents, Melvin and Erma (Christensen) Johnson. Ron spent his early years in Elburn and attended local schools. He graduated with the class of 1950 from Geneva High School where he was an all-around athlete and competed in nearly every sport. Ron attended Bradley University in Peoria and received a Bachelor’s Degree in education while participating in their ROTC program. He enlisted in the United States Air Force and served his country faithfully while stationed in Germany until his honorable discharge in 1956. Upon returning to civilian life, Ron began working as a teacher for the Burlington School District. A year later he was hired at Elburn High School just prior to the consolidation of what now is called Kaneland. After the transition, Ron became the first football and basketball coach at Kaneland High School. In 1963, Ron moved to St. Charles Schools and remained there for the next 35 years until his retirement in 1998. Ron met Judy Anderson in 1962 while they both worked at Kaneland. A friendship turned into courtship, eventually leading them down the aisle arm in arm and heart to heart. They were united in marriage on July 25, 1964 at the Elburn Community Congregational Church. They began their new life together in St. Charles for nine years before moving back to Elburn where Ron and friend Jerry Henderson built a new home. Thousands of memories packed together with more than a lifetime of laughter and love, made their house a home, not only to them, but to the generations after. Ron was a member of the Illinois Basketball Coaches Association (IBCA) and the Elburn Community Congregational Church. Ron began his coaching in the military where he was a player/coach while stationed in Germany. His team became the United States Air Force European Tournament Champions in 1956. The fever for coaching may have begun overseas, but it followed him home where he made a name for himself at the high schools in Elburn, Kaneland and St. Charles. Ron was a legend in his own time after being inducted into the IBCA Hall of Fame in 1988, and the St. Charles Athletic Hall of Fame in 1996, as well as the Geneva High School Hall of Fame in 2010. He was honored beyond belief when St. Charles High School named the Thanksgiving basketball tournament in his name. In his retirement he enjoyed his Thursday Golf Group that met at a different course every week. In winter months, he met the group for Golf Breakfast, but doubled up and also attended Gilkey Breakfasts as well. Ron’s enjoyment of time with his son and grandsons could not be overstated. He loved to follow their progress and added his voice to the many cheers that followed the boys game to game. In the summer months, he and Judy spent time at their cabin in the north woods of Wisconsin, where he loved to relax and fish for muskies. Ron made an indelible impression on all who knew him and the shadow of his loss looms large, but his legacy will brighten the halls of memory for generations. He is survived by his loving wife of 55 years, Judy Johnson; one son Jeffrey (Bridget) Johnson; three grandchildren: Brooks, Brady and Dylan Johnson; his brother Ken (Gina) Johnson; several nieces, nephews, cousins and a great fraternity of friends. He is preceded in death by his parents, Melvin and Erma Johnson; one brother Roger Johnson; nephews, Chad Johnson and Keith Anderson. Visitation will be from 4-7 p.m., Thursday, February 27, 2020, at Conley Funeral Home, 116 W. Pierce St., Elburn, IL. A funeral to celebrate his faith will follow Friday, February 28, at the Elburn Community Congregational Church, 100 E. Shannon St., Elburn, IL, at 10:30 a.m. Rev. Jim Fisher, pastor of the church, will officiate with interment to follow at Blackberry Township Cemetery, Elburn. In lieu of flowers, contributions can be made to the charity of your choice. Tributes may also be shared on Conley Funeral Home Facebook Page, or at www.conleycare.com.