He made a difference.
  • 79 years old
  • Born on May 23, 1932 in Independence, Kansas, United States.
  • Passed away on March 11, 2012 in Phoenix, Arizona, United States.

     This memorial website was created in the memory of our Dad, Bill Johnson, who passed away on March 11, 2012 at the age of 79. We will remember him forever because "he made a difference".   William Leecurtis Johnson (Bill) was born on May 23, 1932 to Nina Leola Torrance Johnson and Myrl William Johnson of Independence, Kansas. Bill passed away at the home of his son Chris Johnson and Heidi Foglesong in Phoenix Arizona surrounded by love.

     Bill is survived by his son Chris Johnson and Heidi Foglesong of Phoenix Arizona and two grandsons William David Ryan-Johnson and Giovanni Beganno both of Phoenix. Bill is also survived by his daughter Sally and husband Tom Stewart of Kimberling City, Missouri. His grandson Travis Stewart of Kimberling City, granddaughter Jennifer Doliber of Reeds Spring, Missouri and granddaughter Katelyn Stewart  of Branson, Missouri. Bill has one great granddaughter Shelby (Termite) Doliber who is 2 years old. He is also survived by his two sisters, Mary Lawrence of Chouteau, Oklahoma and Margaret Wood of Wichita, Kansas.
      Bill was preceded in death by both his parents and his brother Bob Johnson.
      Bill was a Korean War Veteran and he served his country proudly. He was an elementary school teacher in both Kansas and Missouri for over 35 years.. He spent the last several years of his retirement helping others once again. He loved doing mission work with the Methodist VIM Team. He made many friends along the way and traveled all over the United States helping others.   He enjoyed fishing and made his home the last few years in Haviland Kansas where once again he had many friends and "made a difference"........

     We love you Dad and we will miss you,

     Sally & Chris     

    We wanted to let everyone know there will be a Memorial Service for Dad  in Haviland, Kansas on Saturday, March 31st at the Methodist Church 322 N Main Street at 11:00 a.m.     There will also be a dinner at the Church at noon.. 

     In lieu of flowers, Memorial contributions may be made in memory of Bill Johnson for a scholarship fund to the     
Reeds Spring School Foundation
Attn: Mr. Holt
20277 State Highway 413
Reeds Spring, MO 65737      

     We have so appreciated and treasured all the tributes that have been left for Dad.  Thank you all so much.


Posted by Loren Pontious on 22nd June 2018
Well Bill, the old cancer bug got me. Even though we said we wouldn't fight it, I am. Doing good with chemo treatments and looks like God going to give me more to do. VIM trips not the same without you. Put it bluntly, we did a hell a lot of good work together. I won't be part of a team till 2019 but will carry on for us. Hey can you see my beard? Looks a lot like yours. Just keep waiting for us and know we're trying our best to follow you to heaven.
Posted by Cheryl E on 23rd May 2017
I just watched the video of you having coffee with the boys at Haviland...it feels like I could just reach out and touch you! You were having such a good time. I love to see you laughing and joking! It brings me comfort to know someday I will see you laughing again, and hear your jokes again, and we'll be praising God together. See you later, Dear!
Posted by Loren Pontious on 11th March 2017
Hey old buddy been long 5 without you. We keep plugging along and catching a few fish along the way. Keep watching over us, this old world needs all the help it can get. See you down the road. Loren
Posted by Sally Stewart on 11th March 2017
Dad, Once again another year has passed. I just can't believe you've been gone for 5 years. I sure do miss you! I love you Dad! Sally
Posted by Sally Stewart on 6th April 2016
Dad. It's hard to believe it's been four years. I miss you everyday. We finally did it, we made the trip to Havasupai Falls just like you asked us too. There were eleven of us, Chris and Heidi and Will, Katie and I. Margaret and Mike, Mark and David, and Darwin and Colleen. It truly is one of the most beautiful places in the world and I hope someday to return. I understand why you picked that spot, the beauty and overwhelming sense of tranquility was amazing. The adventures we all had as a family to get there and return brought us all together in a very special way. We grew closer as a family, learned alot about each other and had a wonderful time full of lots of laughter, tears and love. Those memories will last forever. As i rode past the falls and said good-bye I felt an overwhelming sense of peace that Chris and I had fulfilled your wishes. I love you! Sally
Posted by Sally Stewart on 15th April 2015
Dad, Another year has passed. Chris and I have had some really good visits lately and we both miss you very much! I just wanted to say We Love You, Sally
Posted by Cheryl E on 10th April 2015
Still miss you, Dear. Time does ease my sadness, but I will never forget you and I thank God that someday we will see each other again! Love to you...
Posted by Calvin Hinde on 4th September 2014
Bill, we still think of you often. We are going to Branson later this month & know you went to your daughter's in that area so thought of you. It was such a joy getting to know you & have you spend 3 weeks with us when our VIM team built on to our church
Posted by Sally Stewart on 3rd September 2014
I miss you Dad. It's just one of those days. I wish we could have a cup of coffee at 508 S. 16th. I listened to The old Rugged Cross this morning and I could feel Grandma Nina sitting in the pew next to me and hear her singing when I close my eyes. Just wanted to say I love you. Sally
Posted by Jim & Brenda Kennedy on 24th May 2014
Bill, We think of you often. We have many great memories of you and consider ourselves lucky to have known you. Love Jim & Brenda
Posted by Mary Lawrence on 23rd May 2014
Dear Brother, remembering you on your birth date. Was going thru some various photos this past week and there were several of you which Chris&Sally might like to have. Miss you.
Posted by Calvin Hinde on 23rd May 2014
Our dear friend Bill, We think of you often and do miss your smiling face . You celebrated your birthday here in our little town of Cassoday when you were helping here on our VIM team and staying at our home. Love you friend. Calvin & Marlene
Posted by Sally Stewart on 23rd May 2014
Happy Birthday Dad !! I have missed you so much. There are so many times I wish you were here. Last night we were at Termite's (Shelby) school musical and you would have been so proud to see that little one singing on that big stage. Your Great Grandson Logan would also put a big smile on your face. Jenny and Jeff have done a great job of being parents. You'd be proud! Katie just graduated with her bachelors degree in business. I know you were there to see her walk across that stage and are very proud of her. Travis and Tiffany both work very hard and are building a solid foundation to start their family soon. Will and G are doing great. They are officially teenagers now. I don't know where the time goes. It just goes faster and faster the older I get. Chris and Heidi are amazing together. You were right! He seems very happy and I'm very happy for him! Katie is visiting them this week and I'm sure he is thinking of you today. If it weren't for you we wouldn't all be here and have this wonderful life we live. Tom and I are fine. I know you would love our little piece of the world in the woods and laugh at all the chickens and critters. I love you Dad..... Sally
Posted by Melodie Edwards on 23rd May 2014
Happy Birthday Bill! My memories of you are from my younger years when I would spend the night at your home with Sally. I can see you so clearly now in your overalls covered in paint with a grin on your face. You never said much but I knew I was always welcome in your home. My thoughts & prayers continue to go out to your family who I know miss you very much. Love & miss you, Melodie
Posted by Bill Williamson on 11th April 2014
Seems like only a few days ago when we sat and talked to you that last night in Phoenix. Ole Don and I thought of you this year in South Texas fishing at Port Mansfield. It felt like you were there. Rest on old friend. We will never forget you.
Posted by Katelyn Stewart on 10th April 2014
Hi Grandpa, I'm addressing my college graduation announcements right now, and I couldn't help but feel like I was leaving someone out. I know how important a strong education was to you... So I hope I made you proud. This is the only way I knew to send your invitation. I know you'll be there. Love, Katie
Posted by Melodie Edwards on 14th March 2014
Hi there Bill, can't believe you've been gone 2 years as I'm sure Sally feels. You are truly missed. Seeing your picture with that wonderful smile on your face, it's so warm & inviting, it brings a tear to one's eye & yet also makes a person smile, like me! No wonder you have so many friends… I love you, keep a good watch over Sally & Chris! Mel
Posted by Mary Lawrence on 11th March 2014
Dear Brother, thought of you bunches today as it's warm-good fishing weather, except for the wind. We would have had a good time anyway. Still look for you& the pickup to pull in the drive. Miss you.
Posted by Marcia Dial on 11th March 2014
Still missing you, my friend. Wishing you would knock on my door and come in for coffee and a visit.
Posted by Sally Stewart on 11th March 2014
Dad, I can't believe it's been 2 years. I think about you everyday and I miss you very much. I love you! Sally
Posted by Calvin Hinde on 11th March 2014
Bill, We still miss you such fond memories working with you on our VIM teams you were always such fun to work with. Love you lots. Calvin & Marlene
Posted by Calvin Hinde on 24th May 2013
From Calvin & Marlene Hinde Bill, We still think of you often and miss you hunting your coffee cup! And Bill I think I gave you a pair of gloves several times as I thought it would help you from getting hurt or your hands hurt when we were on VIM trips and seemed you never knew where you laid them down at. HA Just had to give you a little laugh about that. We truly love you and miss
Posted by Paperina Paperini on 23rd May 2013
Hey Bill, hope you have a wonderful birthday! There's a lot of us thinking about you & missing you. Much love, Mel
Posted by Melodie Edwards on 13th March 2013
Time goes by so quickly Bill, but the missing & loving of our departed is stronger than ever, I love you. Once more I give you thanks for having such a wonderful daughter, & giving me the best friend ever!
Posted by Mary Lawrence on 12th March 2013
Dear brother, so sorry that I didn't get to leave this tribute to you on the 11th, but Don&I were up literally day and night while one of our does was having her babies. A difficult delivery for her,she had three little ones and we lost one in the evening. I know if you had been here, you would have helped in any way you could. Miss you, still look for you pulling in the driveway. Mary
Posted by Sally Stewart on 11th March 2013
Dad. I have so many things I want to tell you about but suddenly the only thing I can think of is how much I miss you. I can't believe it's been a year. I too look outside and expect to see you returning from a mission trip or a fishing trip, You made a difference. I love you, Sally
Posted by Margaret Wood on 11th March 2013
I keep waiting for the doorbell to ring multiple times and still find it hard to realize that you won't be standing there to spend some time, have some donuts and coffee, do some laundry and catch me up on your adventures. Truly missing my brother. Margaret
Posted by Calvin Hinde on 11th March 2013
Bill, We still miss you and you hold a very dear memory in our hearts, we love you you were a great guy you will live on in our thoughts forever. Calvin & Marlene Hinde
Posted by Betty Martin on 13th November 2012
Bill and I attended Pittsburg State University at the same time. We were both education majors and I do remember him. He and I looked much different in the PSU yearbook and both enjoyed great careers in education. How good that my neighbor Loren Pontius shared his memories about Bill with me.
Posted by Katelyn Stewart on 28th June 2012
I wish I could have said goodbye. I'm sorry it has taken me so long to write something, but I just couldn't seem to find the words. You were an amazing man, and influenced so many lives. You did so much good in this world, and I hope that I can make half the impact that you did. I know you're in a better place now, and looking over us. I hope you know how much you're missed. Rest in peace
Posted by Calvin Hinde on 26th May 2012
To the family of Bill , We want you to know your Dad was such a dear friend we all loved him and miss him so much, he was a great guy. He spent 3 weeks at our home when he helped build the addition on our little church in Cassoday. He was such a joy to be with. Calvin 7 Marlene Hinde
Posted by Calvin Hinde on 26th May 2012
Bill, You were such a great guy and a very good friend, we will always hold you dear to our hearts and remember the 3 weeks that you stayed at our home while working on our little Cassoday church. It was such a joy to be around you and having you work on our VIM teams. We miss you Calvin & Marlene Hinde
Posted by Sally Stewart on 23rd May 2012
Dad, Today is your 80th Birthday. I just wanted to say how proud I am of you for all the wonderful things you have done to help so many people. You truly made a difference in so many lives. I DO miss you so much!! I love you!! Sally
Posted by Marlin Brown on 23rd May 2012
Bill, The VIM team is REALLY missing those precious moments we had with you over the past several years. We love you, dearly, and miss you terribly. You would be enjoying this team at Prairie View Church Camp this week. GOD BLESS YOU for all you did with us AND for us.. HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!
Posted by Marcia Dial on 4th April 2012
Bill and I taught fourth grade together for ten years at Reeds Spring Elementary School. Bill was an excellent, caring teacher. Because Bill was a man teacher, he often was assigned "challenging" students with whom to work. It didn't matter to Bill what the students' background or learning ability was, he took each one challenging them to achieve to their highest ability. Thanks, Bill,
Posted by Jennifer Doliber on 21st March 2012
Grandpa, I've learned a lot from you over the years. From how NOT to floss to how to live a life helping others before your self. I hope that you know how many people's lives you have touched for the better. I wish you would have gotten to see Shelby grow up but I know you will watch over her from above. You are missed, Jenny & Termite.
Posted by Diane Noel on 21st March 2012
Bill was a dear man to work with, so gentle and caring. I was Jennifer's first grade teacher while Bill was teaching fourth grade with my daughter,Pam Kutz. She also enjoyed working with him. Sounds llike he continued to make a difference after retirement. Our sympathies!
Posted by R.c. Hopper on 20th March 2012
Cecilia and I loved Bill. We had so many fun times with him while a 4th grade teacher and even after he retired. I (Happy) had many "one-on-one" times of discussion and thoughtful reflections. He didn't "pull any punches" which were often filled with satire and humor. Our deepest sympathies and prayers for all of you.
Posted by Ron Teresa Smith on 20th March 2012
We taught with Bill at Reeds Spring Public Schools, Reeds Spring, MO. He was a fine man, role model, & excellent teacher. He had heart. He will be greatly missed by all who have known him.
Posted by Travis Stewart on 19th March 2012
Grandpa, Hard Working, Unselfish, and Intelligent. Those are just the first three that come to mind. Hard to believe you are gone! I hope that in my lifetime. I can make half the impact that you made on so many peoples lifes! You will be missed forever! Your Grandson Travis
Posted by Don Fruechting on 19th March 2012
We finished a VIM project last week. Now we know what it is like to work without Bill. We didn't like it! He always greeted me with "Good Morning, Sarge." I responded with "Good Morning, Gunner." We shared Korean War, fishing, work, and llfe experiences. He was a most generous person!
Posted by Natalie Bruce on 19th March 2012
Mr. Johnson was my 4th grade teacher, and friend. I was so behind when my family moved to Missouri, and struggled with reading and math. Mr. Johnson was patient with me, and he taught me so much. My first memories in Missouri include him. I will miss you, Mr. Johnson! Love~ Natalie (Trent) Bruce
Posted by Janet Torrance Myers on 16th March 2012
My father Fred was Bill's Uncle and they were 2 years apart in age. Dad loved Bill and always enjoyed their time together. I know that there will be some great fishing and wonderful stories being told in heaven. Bill was such a gentle soul and he is another angel in heaven. Thoughts and prayers to Sally, Chris, Mary and Margaret and families.
Posted by Mary Lawrence on 16th March 2012
Dear Brother, you were a real servant with your hands and your heart-always helping and doing things for others. One life can change the world and you did that all over the United States. I will miss your laugh, making us all laugh with the different stories. Most of all, I will miss the fishing expeditions. They won't be be the same anymore. Rest in Peace, your sis Mary
Posted by Loren Pontious on 16th March 2012
Feb 11 San Marcos, my first VIM with Bill started a change in my life. Bill and I spent approx 3 months together during the next 12 months. We worked hard, prayed, fished, traveled and talked. He improved my life and showed me that we are blessed and must share with others less blessed with material things. He truly made a difference to all.
Posted by Carol Rose on 16th March 2012
We have had the joy of knowing and working with Bill on VIM teams......what a guy!! His sincerity, hard work, wit, and humor was always a positive example to others, and we are blessed to have been among those "others"! May fishin' in heaven be the greatest!! Russell and Carol Rose
Posted by Mike Wood on 15th March 2012
Bill always said that he came to Wichita to "get a little culture." Margaret and I made him sit through some dreadful documentaries and plays. He was always polite with his reviews; but I knew he'd really enjoyed himself when we saw "Kinky Boots." He laughed hard. Bill's wild tales mixed with family stories outdid any fiction I've heard or seen. He brought his own "culture" to our house.
Posted by Marietta Hagan on 15th March 2012
I always enjoyed getting to see Bill when we were at Sally's. He was always so nice and I enjoyed talking to him. Even though I didn't know Bill very well, I know that he loved the Lord and I will see him again in heaven one day. This website is an amazing way to remember your dad and help his memory to live on!
Posted by Bill Williamson on 15th March 2012
Gayle & I came into Phoenix early last week to be sure we had a chance to tell Bill how much he meant to us. We are so happy we were able to see him and thank him face to face. As usual he was his modest self and disclaimed the credit. Not only was he a rock for me to lean on when my life was pretty shaky, he was responsible for Gayle and I finding our great love. REST IN PEACE OLE FRIEND
Posted by Diane Thompson on 15th March 2012
We consider Bill a close friend. We got acquainted in Greensburg on a VIM team. From then on we looked forward to working with Bill. Most of all Bob enjoyed fishing with him. The first thing they did at a new site was to look for a fishing spot. The fishing trip to Minnesota last summer gave us many stories to share. Bob and Diane Thompson

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