Merlin Delbert Johnson

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Merlin Delbert Johnson, 78, Nevada passed away Saturday, Aug. 2, 2008, at St. John's Regional Medical Center, Joplin, Mo., following a lengthy illness. He was born May 25, 1930, in Topeka, Kan., to Louis Edmond Johnson and Gladys Lorie Tunin Johnson. He was married June 24, 1955, in Kansas City, Kan., to Nora M. Selmer-Rogge and she survives of the home.

Merlin grew up in Kansas City, Kan., and graduated from Rosedale High School there in 1948. Later he graduated from the University of Kansas in Lawrence, with a batchelor's degree in education. He then received his Master's Degree in Education from Central Missouri State University, Warrensburg, Mo., in 1971. He began his teaching career in Basehor, Kan., junior high school where he taught from 1961 to 1971 and also served as a Scout Master there. He then went to work as Education Director at the Kansas State Penitentiary, Lansing, Kan., for two years. He later took a principal's position in the Ridgeway, Mo., School District and served in that capacity for seven years. He went to work for the Walker, Mo., school district in 1980 and was the Kindergarten-12th grade principle there for ten years, retiring in 1990.

During his years as a teacher/administrator, he was always known to his students as "Mr. J." He and his wife have lived in Nevada, since 1980. During his years in Kansas City, Kan., he attended Our Savior Lutheran Church and was a member and elder of the Trinity Lutheran Church in Nevada since 1981. He was also a Bushwhacker Day volunteer, dressing up as a clown and passing out candy to the children.

In addition to his wife Nora, survivors include one daughter, Debra McDaniel and her close friend Deborah West; one granddaughter, Jennifer Cunningham and her husband Bradford and one great-grandson, Oliver Mason Cunningham, all of Manhattan, Kan.; one sister, Shirley A. Davidson, Midwest City, Okla., and numerous nieces, nephews and cousins. He was preceded in death by his parents and two brothers, Edmond L. Johnson and Harlan A. Johnson.

Funeral services will be held at 11 a.m., Wednesday, Aug. 6, at Trinity Lutheran Church, Nevada, with pastor Johannes Brann officiating. Cremation will follow the services.

Friends may call now and until 10 a.m., on Wednesday at Ferry Funeral Home in Nevada. The family will receive friends at the funeral home Tuesday evening between 7 and 8.

The family suggests that memorials may be made in his memory to either Trinity Lutheran Church or the American Cancer Society, both in care of the funeral home.

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