B. Ben Johnson, 90, of Cambridge died peacefully surrounded by his family at Good Samaritan Village, Geneseo, on Saturday, August 23, 2014. Funeral services will be held at 10:30 a.m. on Thursday, Aug. 28th at Cambridge Lutheran Church, Cambridge. Rev. Randall Swanson will officiate. Burial will follow in Andover Cemetery, Andover, with military rites by Cambridge American Legion. Visitation will be from 4 to 7 p.m. on Wednesday at Stackhouse-Moore Funeral Services, 212 E. Court St. Cambridge. Memorials may be made to Cambridge Lutheran Church, Augustana College, Jenny Lind Chapel, or Andover Historical Society.
Ben was born July 13, 1924 in rural Andover, the son of Franklin H. and Hannah (Wimmerstedt) Johnson. He attended Andover schools and graduated from Orion High School in 1942. Ben served during World War II in the U.S Army Air Corps 8th Air Force 561st Bomb Squad including participation in the Operation Manna-Chowhound food drops over Holland. He graduated from Augustana College, Rock Island in 1949 and was united in marriage to Gertrude M. Swanson on June 16, 1951 in Red Oak, IA. Ben then served again in the Air Force as a jet fighter pilot during the Korean War and in the Illinois Air National Guard retiring as a Lt. Col. Ben was a Financial Representative for Lutheran Brotherhood, now Thrivent Financial, for 41 years as well as being a partner in Johnson-Heck Insurance Agency in Cambridge.
Memberships include Cambridge Lutheran Church, Andover and Henry County Historical Societies, Viking Club, American Scandinavian Association, Geneseo Moose Lodge, Cambridge American Legion, MOWW (Military Order of World Wars), Air Force Association, Reserve Officers Association, Glenn Miller Birthplace Society, and Svenska Klub. He was a charter member of Valley View County Club. Ben served 16 years on the Cambridge Village Board including four years as Mayor. In his early years he played semi-professional baseball including a year in the minor leagues. He enjoyed golfing, traveling, big band music, playing cards, and his ten grandchildren and their activities.
Survivors include his wife of 63 years, Trudy, sons Gregory (Karla) Johnson, East Moline, and David (Debra) Johnson, Cambridge, daughters Jane (Rich) Morency, Wheaton, IL, and Melanie (Mark) Bannister, Hays, KS; ten grandchildren Matthew Johnson and Amy Johnson, both of Tacoma, WA, Sara (Clayton) Stalf, Coal Valley, Ryan Johnson, Davenport, IA, Karen (B.J.) Rains, Boise, ID, Scott Bailey, Pueblo, CO, Michelle (J.J.) Oslund, Denver, CO, Megan Bailey, student at the University of Illinois, Kristen Morency, student at John Brown University in Arkansas and Vincent Bailey, student at the University of Kansas. He was preceded in death by his parents and three sisters.