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Gerald  "Jerry"  Johnson

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“We just learned of Jerry's passing and are so very sorry for your loss. We will miss seeing his smiling face at church. We will always be so...Read More »
1 of 16 | Posted by: Cathy, Pat, Kevin, and Tim Hirzel - MI

“Paul and I just heard about Jerry. Jerry was always so kind to us. He was such a devoted family man and friend. Paul considers himself very lucky to...Read More »
2 of 16 | Posted by: Paul and Judy Geiger - Dexter, MI

“Marie...I am so sorry to hear about your Jerry. I always thought he was such a kind and good person and was glad to have met him. It was even better...Read More »
3 of 16 | Posted by: Debra Keagle-Erickson - LAKELAND, FL

“What a legacy! For those who weren't able to make it to the service, we have posted the memory video to YouTube: https://youtu.be/EAQKn5ZDWrICheck...Read More »
4 of 16 | Posted by: Paul Johnson - Waxhaw, NC - Son

“Bob - very sorry to hear of the passing of your father. My sincerest condolences and prayers to you and your family during this sad time.No doubt...Read More »
5 of 16 | Posted by: Eric Lyon - Battle Creek, MI

“I was a lot younger than Jerry [and Harry and their sister] but my folks were friends of the family and Nellie and Clarence were great examples in...Read More »
6 of 16 | Posted by: Carol Stuck Rhodes - Delton, MI

“Jerry (and sons) offered to build a deck on our cabin on the Betsie River several decades ago. The deck is still standing and serving us well.We...Read More »
7 of 16 | Posted by: Linda & Marilyn Stoddard - MI

“Bob - very sorry to hear of the passing of your father. My sincerest condolences and prayers to you and your family during this sad time.No doubt...Read More »
8 of 16 | Posted by: Eric Lyon - Battle Creek, MI

“We are so sorry for your loss. We are keeping you and your family in our prayers. We look forward to Jesus 2nd coming, when we will all be reunited. ”
9 of 16 | Posted by: George & Kathy Morse - Delton, MI

“Our condolences to the family for the loss of a very honorable charitable man. May God bless you to find comfort in your best memories and faith that...Read More »
10 of 16 | Posted by: Jerry Pawlowicz - Augusta, MI

“I was on the Honor Guard at Fort Custer cemetery with Jerry. Very nice person and a joy to be around. Always happy. ”
11 of 16 | Posted by: Barbara Hibiske - Battle Creek, MI

“Jerry and I did funerals together at Fort Custer National Cemetery for a number of years. I will miss him a lot. ”
12 of 16 | Posted by: Mike Dennis - Galesburg, MI

“May your father rest in peace in the loving arms of Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior. Our deepest condolences, Dan, Anna, Caroline & Benjamin Harms ”
13 of 16 | Posted by: Anna Harms - Battle Creek, MI

“I'm so sorry to hear this. I'm glad I got to know Jerry. ”
14 of 16 | Posted by: Matt Schwartz - Battle Creek, MI

“Sorry for your loss, your family is in our prayers. ”
15 of 16 | Posted by: Toni Gore - Battle Creek, MI

“To the most amazing Man I have ever known. You taught me more about life than I can ever thank you for. You are the best Dad. I love you, and will...Read More »
16 of 16 | Posted by: Tim Johnson - Son


Army Emblem

Gerald (Jerry) Leroy Johnson age 73, of Battle Creek passed away peacefully after a long hard-fought battle with cancer on Thursday, March 19, 2020 at home surrounded by family. He was born in Battle Creek on October 21, 1946, the son of Clarence and Clara Nelle (Snelling) Johnson. He was a lifelong Battle Creek resident and a member of the Class of 1965 at Battle Creek Academy. After high school graduation, Jerry moved to Loma Linda, California where he attended Loma Linda University and earned a culinary certificate. While in California, he was drafted by the United States Army in 1966 and was deployed to Vietnam in 1967, during the Tet Offensive and dutifully served as a medic. While performing his duties, Jerry was awarded the Bronze Star with Valor in April 1968 for heroism by entering a heavy fire area while on the front line to cover a wounded comrade with an armored vest and hauling him to safety. Jerry was honorably discharged in June 1968 and returned to Battle Creek and soon thereafter, as he said, "the luckiest day of his life" met Marie Mrak, his lifelong love on Friday, September 13, 1968.

Jerry married Marie Ann Mrak on September 4, 1970, at St. Joseph Catholic Church. He was preceded in death by his father Clarence. Surviving are his beautiful bride of 49.5 years, Marie (Mrak) Johnson of Battle Creek; son Paul (Aimee) Johnson of Waxhaw, North Carolina; son Robert (Nicole) Johnson of Battle Creek; son Tim (Nickole) Johnson of Portage; son Don Johnson of Battle Creek; grandchildren Zachary, Juliana, Nathan, Tyler, Rylee, McKenna, and Sam.

In addition to his wife, sons, and grandchildren, Jerry is survived by his mother Clara Nelle (Snelling) Johnson of Battle Creek, sisters, Patricia (Forrest) Walter, Barbara (Rodney) Hyde, twin brother Harold (Lori) Johnson, and brother-in-law Bill (JoAnn) Mrak, and many cousins, nieces, nephews and friends.

Jerry was a member of Local Union 669 for almost 50 years working for various fire protection companies as a sprinkler fitter. After retiring from Local 669 in 2010, he took classes to become a massage therapist where he mostly practiced with family and friends. Jerry also spent a few years as a Red Cross instructor.
Jerry was active in volunteering in his sons' schooling, athletics, and Boy Scouting. He was instrumental in the revitalization of Boy Scout Troop 325 in Battle Creek in 1989. Jerry was Scoutmaster for Troop 325 for several years and helped many scouts earn their Eagle Scout rank. He served St. Philip Catholic Church for several years by singing and playing guitar for masses. Jerry honorably served on the Friday Fort Custer Honor Guard from October 27, 2010, until he was unable.

Jerry was a very loving husband living his vows every day through service and action. He took very seriously his commitment to his wife and family choosing to lay his life down for them in a totally selfless manner. He was passionate for helping his sons to become the best versions of themselves by showing them to be the best men, fathers and citizens possible. Jerry was highly devoted to God by living his Catholic faith as a great example to all he encountered.

A private Funeral Mass for the family will be held at St. Joseph Catholic Church. A public service, including military honors and committal at Fort Custer National Cemetery will be announced later, when it is safe for all of Jerry's family and friends to be together.

Please do not send flowers, but prayerfully consider a memorial contribution to St. Joseph Catholic Church, Boy Scout Troop 325, or the South Michigan Food Bank. Personal messages for the family may be placed here at www.farleyestesdowdle.com.