G. LeRoy Johnson, 91, of Hudson, Indiana passed away peacefully at home on Sunday, September 12, 2021 with his loving family by his side. He was best known for his generosity and exceptional ability to create anything he set his mind to.
LeRoy was born August, 6, 1930 in Carthage, South Dakota to Glenwood Victor Johnson and Helen Marjorie (Grapes) Johnson. Escaping the Dust Bowl, Glen, Helen and LeRoy followed Glen’s relatives to Steuben County in 1937, where they worked and farmed.
LeRoy graduated from Pleasant Lake High School in 1948 and married Bonnie Lou (Kaufman) Johnson in 1952. LeRoy supported Bonnie and three daughters while working full time repairing appliances for Hosack’s TV & Appliance and attending Tri-State College where he earned his Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering in 1956.
After graduation, LeRoy moved the family to Western New York and welcomed a fourth daughter. He spent his career as a manufacturing engineer for Harrison Radiator, a division of General Motors, where he was awarded a U.S. patent.
While raising his family in Western New York, LeRoy was an active member of the community and many organizations. He was a Boy Scout Scoutmaster and served with the Girl Scouts for more than two decades. LeRoy was actively involved with the Lockport Camera Club, Astronomy Club, Allegany Nature Pilgrimage, and Newfane First Baptist Church.
After a 35-year career at Harrison Radiator, LeRoy retired to Steuben County, Indiana, where he remarried. He met Sharon Kay (Dodge) Wolfe at a Pleasant Lake High School class reunion and the two were married at Mt. Zion Methodist Church in August 1991 on the ninth anniversary of their first date. The couple spent winters in the Tampa Bay area of Florida.
LeRoy enjoyed his long retirement to the fullest, spending time traveling, volunteering, learning, and woodworking. An avid birder and Master Naturalist, LeRoy was a longtime docent at both the Pokagon Nature Center in Angola and Manatee Viewing Center in Apollo Beach, Florida, where he recently was recognized for 20 years of service. LeRoy was generous with his time and was known as the “Bird Man of Hudson” for the hundreds of students he taught about bluebirds. He built and gifted more than 500 bluebird houses, and was known for planning bird house-building events for large youth groups. LeRoy was also an active member of Mt. Zion United Methodist Church and the Pleasant Lake Lion’s Club.
LeRoy is survived by his wife, Sharon; children Cynthia (William) Smist of Lockport, New York, Sandra (John) Kabes of Pleasant Lake, Susan (Roger) Bertch of Jamestown, Tennessee, Christine (Christopher) McQuilkin of Hollis, New Hampshire, Jack (Bernice) Wolfe of Pleasant Lake and Janean Wolfe of Ashley; brother Bob (Nancy) Johnson of Pleasant Lake; and two generations of grandchildren.
Calling hours are from 10:00 a.m.to 11:30 a.m. on Saturday, September 18, 2021 at Mt. Zion United Methodist Church to be followed by a celebration of life officiated by Reverend Tamra Gerber. He will be laid to rest at Mt. Zion Cemetery.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Mt. Zion United Methodist Church, 3401 South Golden Lake Road, Pleasant Lake, IN 46779 or Community Humane Shelter of Steuben County at 780 Shelter Lane, Angola, IN 46703.
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