Wendell A JohnsonDecember 9, 1936 ~ June 7, 2017 (age 80)
Wendell A. “Del” Johnson passed away peacefully on June 7th in Akron, Ohio, at the age of 80.
Preceded in death by his parents O. Arnold and Edith Johnson of Pennock, Minnesota, and sister Deloris of Willmar, Minnesota, Del is survived by his wife Kathleen (“Kitty”); children Eric, Kurt (Jennifer), and Kelly; grandchildren Aubrey and Mason; sister, Phyllis Stewart of Corcoran, Minnesota, and several nieces, nephews, and their families.
Del was born on December 9, 1936 in Chicago, Illinois, though his family moved to the rural town of Pennock, Minnesota, not long after. Beginning his education in the town’s one-room schoolhouse (to which he walked each day), Del went on to receive his Associate of Arts degree from North Park Junior College in Chicago and soon thereafter his Bachelor of Education from the University of Minnesota. During his professional career, he also earned his Masters Degree in Education (Math) from Kent State University and his Masters Degree in Statistics from the University of Akron.Taking a position to teach mathematics at Cleveland’s West High School, Del moved from Minnesota in 1960. While there, he attended Lakewood Presbyterian Church and met Kitty Kelly. The couple wed August 22,1964, and was blessed with three children who remain proud to call them their parents.
Del and Kitty moved to Akron in 1969 so he could begin teaching mathematics at The University of Akron Community and Technical College, where he was elected to Emeriti status before retiring as Professor after 31 years of service. He was active throughout his life in the community, coaching youth sports, part-time teaching and tutoring math after his retirement, and serving as a devoted member of the Firestone Park Presbyterian Church. His reputation among family and friends was that of a remarkably kind and caring man, which he demonstrated most strongly in his role as a loving “grandpa” to his grandchildren, Aubrey and Mason. He will be fondly remembered for a sense of humor he would call unappreciated and a lifelong interest in John Deere tractors. And while he maintained an unfortunate but equally unwavering dedication to the Minnesota Vikings, he excitedly celebrated the long-awaited championship won by the Cleveland Cavaliers last year.
A memorial celebration of Del’s life is scheduled at noon on Saturday, June 17, at Firestone Park Presbyterian Church, 275 S. Firestone Blvd., Akron, OH, 44301, where friends may gather at 10:00 a.m., until time of service, Pastor Francie Fischer, officiating. Burial at Foxfield Preserve in Wilmot, OH. In lieu of flowers, please send donations to Firestone Park Presbyterian Church; St. Joseph Indian School, PO Box 326, Chamberlain, SD, 57326; or North Park University, 3225 W. Foster Ave., Chicago, IL 60625. The family wishes to thank all the special nurses, doctors, and staff at Cleveland Clinic’s Akron General Medical Center, Fresenius Kidney Care South Summit, the Justin T. Rogers Hospice Care Center, and special caregiver, Dr. Debra Gargiulo, for the care they provided during Del’s illnesses.The light of God surrounds me.The love of God enfolds me.The power of God protects me. The presence of God watches over me. Wherever I am, God is.