|Birth: ||Feb. 6, 1929|
|Death: ||Apr. 6, 2012|
Dad was awsome. He was born and raised in Cedar Rapids Iowa, the son of Virginia Leaf. Dad did not know his father, but Fred Leaf was a great substitute from what Dad would always tell me. Quaker Oats in Cedar Rapids was a job he held for some time as well as working for the Rock Island Railroad. when he was about 19, he enlisted in the US Air Force. After a couple of years in that branch, he gave the United State Marine Corps a try. He ended up going over to Korea and served during the Korean Conflict. After receiving a medical discharge, Dad returned to the US and shortly after, moved to Kansas City Missouri. What would become the job of his life, working at the Kansas City Star/Times as it was known back then, started in April 1956. He met our mother, Helen J. Barnes (Masters) in 1957. After a whirlwind courtship, they married on August 2, 1958. Dad loved our mother immensely. He always told me that he never looked at anyone else when he met Mom. He became a Dad to our older siblings, Rita, Truman and Raymond (who was just two when they married) when he married Mom and was happy when our sister Ginny came along just about a week after their 1st Anniversary. They lost two babies in between the two of us, and after being told that she would not have any other children...I came along in 1965. Dad wanted to have me a Jr., but Mom did not want me to have Herman as a middle name. Instead, I was partly named for my grandfather Fred, but Mom was particular about that and wanted it Carl Fredrick Johnson.....our family was complete. I would be known as 'Little Carl' and Dad was 'Big Carl'. Dad would take us everywhere he could when we were growing up. As we got older, he would take us by bus to pick up his paycheck at the Star. Dad always had a hello or smile for everyone, whether he was working, or just picking up his paycheck. One of the cartoonists at the Star did a small cartoon of Dad and it had some employees yelling at Dad they he didn't need to say hi to them EVERY time he came by them. :) After saying hi to everyone, we would go across the street to the Grand Avenue Bank, cash his check, then walk down to Harry's Diner. Dad would order a cup of black coffee and Ginny and I would order pretty much whatever we wanted. Dad would bat cleanup.....he always said our eyes were bigger than our stomachs, and he would finish what we did not eat, which usually ended up being a lot of food. Billy (Truman's nickname), followed in Dad's footsteps and began working at the Star not long after high school. Dad was not allowed to drive until 1977, when doctors had finally said that his epilepsy was in check enough for him to be able to drive. Both his stepfather Fred and his mother Virginia had passed in 1976, so Dad began driving lessons and bought a brand new 1977 Toyota Corolla station wagon that was a bright red. We took our first trip the very next day and thus began an odyssey for Dad. He loved to be behind the wheel of a car. Many trips to Cedar Rapids to visit family and friends, trips to Butler Missouri to see friends of our grandparents, and just generally driving everywhere he could. My sister Ginny and I worked at the Star as well in our teens. First, on Saturdays before we turned 16, then Friday and Saturday nights. He worked nights for most of his career there and when we started on nights, we would ride with him to work. Many times we would be finished with work before him, so we occasionally got to go on his rounds with him and got to know the Star's many buildings and just about every nook and cranny. Mom and Dad's first grandchild came along in 1977..Raymond Jr. Dad was a very proud grandfather and doted on all his grandchildren. Our brother Ray would present 4 more to him, Kathy, Crystal, Michael and Johnnie. Dad hung up his clock for the Star in April of 1994, after 38 years there. They had a huge party for him and the entire staff of the Star posed for a photo for him in front of the main building to say 'Bye Carl'. The years went by and Mom and Dad moved to Seymour Missouri to stay close to our sister Ginny, who would become his caretaker before long. Our brother Billy and his wife Becky adopted a daughter India, giving Mom and Dad a 6th grandchild. Dad's health had not been good in his later years, was diagnosed a diabetic before his retirement and then eventually CHF. Dad was unable to walk the last 7 years of his life. So he decided to garner someone's attention, he would shout out "Heyyyy..." It became a saying around the house. I married again in 2005 and presented him with two granddaughters, Kayla and then Nicole came along in 2007. He had been given 6 months to live in 2006, but found a renewed will to live at the prospect of a 8th grandchild. Everyone visited Dad as much as we could...and we all knew that each visit could be the last. I saw Dad for the last time at the end of October 2011. Ray Jr. had died in a car accident and my wife and I came down for the service. Dad never knew of the accident, as we knew the news would devastate him. We came in and let him know that we were passing thru...and his final words to me in person were that he loved me very, very, very...much. He said very quite a few times. And then reminded me never to forget that. I spoke with him on the phone on his 83rd birthday this year and he didn't speak much, but reiterated that he loved me very very very much and not ever to forget it. I told him I knew that and that I loved him. And I also knew that that would be my last time talking to him. His health began a much more rapid decline and he spent the last week of his life in the hospital. In the past couple of years, to get someones attention, Dad would say, "Heyyyyy..." really loud. It became a saying of everyone. My sister brought him home on Thursday April 5 and Ginny called me that nite saying she didn't think he was going to get through this one...but she had him home. And the call came at 443am on April 6th, Good Friday...Dad had passed in his sleep. I cried, then woke my wife and daughters to let them know that he was gone. We traveled to Seymour to be with the rest of the family, I got to say a private goodbye to Dad early the next morning. On Monday April 9th, we sent Dad off in style. Full military honors, including Rita, Raymond, Ginny and myself escorting him out for the 21 gun salute and Taps. He is survived by his wife of nearly 54 years, Helen, his five children, 7 grandchildren and 14 great grandchildren. His home health nurse Stacy had said it best...laughter loved Carl...and it was so true. We are sad for us, because we will miss your smile and laughter, but we are happy for you Dad, as you are now free and are on your next great journey...traveling the roads in the sky. We miss you Dad and love you dearly. "Heyyyyyyyy........"
Fred Leaf (1894 - 1976)
Virginia Leaf (1910 - 1976)
Carl H. Johnson
February 6, 1929-April 6, 2012
We Love You
On the top of the urn....."Heyyyyy....."
Cremated, Ashes given to family or friend.
Specifically: Ashes given to spouse
Created by: Carl F. Johnson
Record added: Apr 08, 2012
Find A Grave Memorial# 88232365