William “Bill” O. Johnson, 84 years, of Oakland, Nebraska, passed away Tuesday, October 12, 2021 at Dunklau Gardens in Fremont, Nebraska after bravely fighting cancer for many years. Funeral services will be on Monday, October 18, 2021 at 10:30 a.m. at First Evangelical Lutheran Church in Oakland, NE with burial in the Oakland Cemetery. Visitation will be held Sunday from 5-7 p.m. at the church. Memorials to the family for future designation. Pelan Funeral Services in Oakland in charge of arrangements.
William “Bill” Oscar Johnson was born to Willis K. and Irene B. (Edmisten) Johnson on June 6, 1937, at the old Oakland Hospital on Fried Avenue in Oakland, Neb. He passed away at Methodist Fremont Health/Dunklau Gardens in Fremont, Neb., on Tuesday, October 12, 2021, after bravely fighting cancer for many years.
It is fitting that his journey to Heaven began on National Farmer’s Day, in the midst of harvest season. He was a farmer who was devoted to the land, a husband who loved his wife, a father who adored his children and grandchildren, and great grandchildren, and a neighbor who valued the bonds of friendship and family.
Bill attended Country School District No. 53 and Oakland High School, where he graduated in 1954. Following graduation, he worked on the farm for his uncle, Verdo Johnson, for a couple of years. In 1956, he took over his father’s farm with the help and guidance of his uncles, Verdo and Art Johnson. More than a job, farming was Bill’s life. He and his cousin, Don Johnson, farmed together for 53 years. In 1981, Bill’s son Jay joined the family farming operation. Bill spent nearly every day of his life on the farm where he grew up, and only recently moved to town when his health required it.
Bill grew up attending the First Baptist Church of Oakland, where he was baptized and later became a member. On September 19, 1959, he married Sandra Lea Danielson in the Evangelical Free Church in Oakland, where he attended and later enjoyed helping teach the three- and four-year-old Sunday School class led by Linda Walters for seven years—an adventure he immensely enjoyed. He and his wife Sandra later joined the First Evangelical Lutheran Church in Oakland.
Bill belonged to the Oakland Jaycees and was a 48-year member of the Masonic Lodge.
He was preceded in death by his parents; sister Janet and her husband Jack Holling; infant sister Marilyn; sister-in-law Nola (Danielson) Peterson and her husband Jim; and brother-in-law Jim “Boone” Danielson.
Left to carry on Bill’s legacy and optimistic outlook on life are his wife Sandra; his son Jay William (Deanna) Johnson of Oakland; daughter Joni Lea (Robert) Sundquist of Lincoln; five grandchildren: Ty Johnson (Erin Hoban) of Ft. Calhoun, Kayla (Dane) Eisenmenger of Oakland, Joel (Kelsea) Johnson of Wisner, Halle Sundquist (Tristan Burton) of Lincoln, and Jake Sundquist of Tempe, Ariz.; two great-grandchildren: Kenadee and Cole Eisenmenger of Oakland; and many cousins, nephews, and nieces.