Willard V. Johnson

Willard Johnson, 61, of Clarion, passed away on Monday, December 17, 2012, at Iowa Specialty Hospital of Belmond.

Funeral services for Willard Johnson will be held on Thursday, December 20, 2012, at 10:30 AM at the First United Methodist Church, 201 3rd Avenue North East, in Clarion with Pastor Don Morrison officiating.  Burial will be at Evergreen Cemetery in Clarion.

Visitation will be held on Wednesday, December 19, 2012, from 5:00 – 7:00 PM at Ewing Funeral Home, 602 North Main Street, in Clarion and will continue one hour prior to services at the church.

Willard was born July 26, 1951, in Morris, Illinois to Donald and Bethyl (Wiley) Johnson.  He attended Erienna and Nettle Creek grade schools through eighth grade and graduated from Seneca High School in Illinois.  An active FFA member, Willard earned the State Farmer award as a senior at Seneca.  Willard then attended Western Illinois University for two years and later graduated with honors from Joliet Junior College receiving an Associates’ Degree in Agriculture.

Will’s working career included 20 years at Alumax Aluminum in Morris, Illinois where he worked in the metallurgists’ laboratory testing metal samples for alloy content and physical properties.  In 1996, work took him to Clarion, Iowa where he spent three 3 years in the pork production industry before joining Stronghold Manufacturing in 1999. There he was a machine operator processing raw metal stock into livestock handling equipment.  He loved his work and friends at Stronghold and became an essential member of the production team.

Will’s long time passions included model railroading and the study of U.S. history with emphasis on the Civil War. He was active in local railroading clubs throughout his adult life enjoying many hours of “training”.  His reading on the Civil War included all the major works on the subject along with numerous historical site visits.  He was considered an authority on the subject by all who knew him.  Later in life his interest in history focused on the study of genealogy.  He compiled very substantial research on his family that will be preserved and extended.  Family was important to Will.

He is survived by his parents; long-time partner, Joy Amonson of Clarion; brothers, Dale (Peggy) of Hamilton, Ohio; Brian (JoEllyn) of Seneca, Illinois; nephew and niece, Samuel and Ann; uncle, Marlyn Wiley; aunts, Charlotte Berkland, Pearl Laing, and Julia Thompson; special cousin Judy and other cousins.

Of special importance in Will’s life were his Iowa family, Lila Amonson, Cindy and Doug Riley of Clarion; Tom Riley of Cedar Falls; and Whitney Riley of Mason City.

Preceding Will in death were his grandparents, two aunts, and Richard Amonson.

Memorials may be left to the discretion of the family.


Date: Wednesday, December 19, 2012
Time: 5:00 pm - 7:00 pm
Where: Ewing Funeral Home – Former Clarion Location
602 North Main Street, Clarion, Iowa 50525
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Date: Thursday, December 20, 2012
Time: 10:30 am
Where: United Methodist Church – Clarion
201 3rd Avenue North East, Clarion, Iowa 50525
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