Gordon Johnson Obituary


Gordon H. Johnson
Born: October 1, 1929 in Joliet, Illinois
Died: April 18, 2023 in Joliet, Illinois
Age 93, passed away peacefully in his sleep on Tuesday, April 18, 2023, with his loving family by his side. Gordon is survived by his wife, Caryl, one son, Paul, and two daughters: Brenda and Jody (Shelton); grandchildren, Freyja (Sephora), Kaity (Brice), Emily, and Madonna. He was preceded in death by his parents; Archie and Myrtle (Hancock), aunt Lethe Erb, his uncle, Dick and aunt Loretta, and then Dick’s second wife, Berniece Hancock; aunts Helen Veenstra and her husband Manny Kanter, and Madeline Veenstra and her husband George, his cousins Jan Hancock (Staehling), and Jim Hancock. Gordon grew up on the “Italian” south side of Joliet and attended Hufford Elementary school. When he grew up it was impossible to get into trouble because all the neighbors treated each other’s kids as their own! He attended Joliet Central High school. Later the family moved to Nicholson Street on the west side. While he was in high school, he spent several summers up at a lumberjack camp in Canada helping in the kitchen. After high school he went to San Francisco tried to join the coast guard and they wouldn’t accept him because one leg was shorter than the other. He also tried the merchant marines, but they wouldn’t accept him either. Gordon loved music, especially jazz. His mother Myrtle played both the piano and organ and Gordon learned to play the piano as a child. While in San Francisco he saw many of his favorites including Art Tatum and Oscar Peterson. After California he entered and graduated from the St. Louis College of Pharmacy. His father Archie owned Johnson’s Pharmacy on 5th Ave, so after graduation he went to work for his father, and eventually inherited the store from him. Countless people knew both Archie and then later Gordon; if you lived on the south side of Joliet, that is where you went. For a long time, they even had a soda fountain. His mother Myrtle and Aunt Letha worked in the store as well. Archie tragically drowned in 1955. When he found out that Interstate 80 would come through that area (which destroyed the neighborhood) he sold the store and bought a pharmacy In Morris. His wife’s (Caryl) mother (Lois) went into the store one day after church and thought Gordon might be someone her daughter might like to date. On their first date he took Caryl up in his airplane. They were married on June 11, 1960 at the First Presbyterian Church of Morris. Later Gordon bought and ran Westgate drugs on Wilcox by Raynor, then a store in Elgin, then worked for Morris Hospital, and finally worked in Wisconsin at various drug stores that needed someone to cover vacation time or just needed an extra pharmacist. While in his twenties and thirty’s Gordon went on many deer hunting trips in and around the Snake river in Wyoming, and fishing trips to Ely in northern Minnesota, sometimes flying there in his plane. His favorite spot was Fenske Lake near Ely.. He loved taking people there; his wife, son Paul on father/son fishing trips, and later his daughters Brenda and Jody. He would take people into the Boundary Waters Canoe Wilderness area where you would portage between lakes, and tent camp under the stars. The family went on many trips including Gatlinburg, TN, where his 80-year-old aunt rode the waterlog ride! Their favorite spot though was Door County in Wisconsin. In 1987 Gordon completed a 2-year course and became a certified piano tuner. He loved meeting people and tuning their pianos. He was still tuning pianos until he was 92. Gordon and Caryl were first members of Faith Bible Church, then Fellowship Bible Church; both in Joliet. They then joined Mission Bible Church in Minooka, and have been members for many years. In 2019 the family threw Gordon a great 90th birthday party at his favorite restaurant, Al’s Steakhouse in Joliet. It was the last time he would see many of his friends and relatives.
Gordon lived a full life and loved the Lord. Arising early every morning to read the bible and pray. He is now with his Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. In lieu of flowers donations to Lightways Hospice of Joliet would be appreciated. Celebration of Life service will be held at Mission Bible Church, 412 N. Wabena Ave. in Minooka, Saturday, May 13, 2023 at 11:00 A.M. Visitation will be held from 9:30 A.M. until services at 11 A.M. Funeral services entrusted to Carlson-Holmquist-Sayles Funeral Home & Crematory. For information please call (815) 744-0022 or visit www.CHSFUNERAL.com

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Published by The Herald-News from Apr. 28 to Apr. 29, 2023.
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So sorry to hear if Gordon’s passing. I grew up on the east side and we would go to Johnson’s Drug Store fir our prescriptions and school supplies. Dan Quigley

Dan Quigley
May 13, 2023

My family started out on the east side of Joliet and we all went to Johnson’s Pharmacy.
Then the move to Westgate and as a young married woman that was were I went for meds.
It was a sad day when Gordon left there..
Absent from the body, present with the Lord..

is difficult to see

Sandra (Davis) Crater
April 28, 2023

I am so sorry to hear about Gordon´s passing. I have many good memories of the years I worked with him in Elgin. He would always stop in at the pharmacy when he was in town to say hi and buy his candy bars. He lived a beautiful life and I know he will be missed. He will be in my prayers. With love Joanne Shepherd

Joanne Shepherd
April 28, 2023
I love you, Dad, and one day I will see you in Heaven.
Brenda L Johnson
April 28, 2023

To all family members. I am so sorry to hear of Gordie´s passing as I called him at Corwins. Worked with him and Jan for 3 years when I was in high school. We got along great. When he took his lunch break, he would read his Bible. He would make comments to me, but I didn´t “wake” up myself until I became a Christian about 15 years later. My mother also lived on the south side of Joliet, as she was Italian also. Am sure they knew one another. I often thought of Gordie and wondered if he was still around. Home with the Lord no doubt. I would consider it an honor when the dust settles, if one of you would call me at some point. Have a couple more stories but would like to talk personally. My phone is 779-206-8702. Gods Blessings to you all. Don

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Don Shepherd
April 28, 2023

“What we once enjoyed and deeply loved we can never lose, for all that we love deeply becomes part of us.” – Helen Keller Although it is difficult to see beyond tomorrow, we pray looking back in memory will comfort you.

Jonathan and Dani Krogh
April 28, 2023


grew up on the east

THOMAS Giarrante
April 28, 2023

I am so sorry to hear of Gordon´s passing. He was a wonderful boss and a great person. I worked with him in the Elgin store and believe it or not I´m still there. My prayers for your family. May he rest in peace.