The “Field of Dreams” has a new player. Eldon Johnson, 78, of Normal, died at 12:15 a.m. Saturday, Aug. 17, 2013.
Eldon Eugene Johnson was born Oct. 12, 1934, in Minier, Ill., the son of the late Wayne and Lorene (Rogers) Johnson.
Eldon married Carolyn Sue Morgan on June 13, 1954.
Eldon is survived by his loving wife of 59 years, whom he adored, and his three children, Susan (Tom) Kentner, Shelly (Tony) Marsala and David (Stephanie) Johnson: seven grandchildren, Mica (Jason) Erwin, Alex (Rebecca Head) Kentner, Anthony Marsala, Nick Marsala, Davis Johnson, Meade Johnson and Madden Johnson; and two great-grandchildren, Jackson Erwin and Tate Erwin, all of whom he loved very much. He also is survived by his brothers, Barney Johnson and Roger (Mary) Johnson; his sister, Rita (Terry) Edmunds; and several nieces and nephews.
He was preceded in death by his parents; brother, Chuck Johnson; sister-in-law, Edna Johnson; two brothers-in-law, Stan Morgan and Dave Morgan; father-in-law and mother-in-law, Ralph and Pauline Morgan.
Eldon attended Kenney High School for the first three years and graduated from McLean High School in 1953. He was a three-sport stand-out at both schools in baseball, track and basketball. He set a McLean High School record of 37 points in one game at the McLean County Basketball Tournament. Following high school, Eldon played baseball one year for the Chicago White Sox organization. He honorably served the United States from 1957 to 1959 in the Army, stationed in Germany, during the Cold War as a front-line observer.
Following his military service, he began work at State Farm in Bloomington for four years. In 1963 the family moved to rural Rossville, where he worked with his brothers-in-law and father-in-law on the Morgan family farm until his retirement in 1998.
Eldon, or “E.J.” as he was known to many friends, was an avid New York Yankee baseball fan and especially admired Mickey Mantle. He loved all sports, but baseball was his passion, having played in the Tri Valley and Corn Belt League, as well as the Bloomington Muny League. Besides watching Yankee baseball, he enjoyed watching University of Illinois sports, the Chicago Cubs, and the Chicago Bears. Eldon loved being a part of his children’s athletic and school activities at Rossville-Alvin High School, where he worked on the football chain gang, was a timer for the track team, and kept the basketball scorebook.
He served for 13 years on the Rossville-Alvin School Board, and was a member of the Rossville Commercial Club. Eldon found great joy in playing cards with family and friends, as well as having coffee with buddies in Rossville and at the Eastland Mall in Bloomington. He especially loved spending time and talking sports with his grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
Carolyn Sue wishes to thank Bromenn Advocate Hospice and Janet K., along with all the nurses, especially Marilyn M., for their care and compassion. Also, a special thanks to the many family and friends for their love and support.
Eldon’s funeral will be at 10 a.m. Tuesday, Aug. 20, at Calvert & Metzler Memorial Home, Bloomington, with burial and military honors by the Spears-Dukes Post 733 at Mann’s Chapel Cemetery in rural Rossville at 1 p.m. Pastor Carl Mesiti will officiate. Visitation will be from 4-7 p.m. Monday, Aug. 19, at the Calvert & Metzler Memorial Home.
Please view the obituary and share your condolences and memories online at www.calvertmemorial.com.