Celebration of Life Service for Michael L. Johnson will be held on Friday, July 13, 2018 at 11:00 a.m. at the First Presbyterian Church in Holdrege, Nebraska with Rev. Dr. W. Kirwin Stewart, Jr. and Pastor Gary Jones, officiating. Interment will follow services at the Prairie Home Cemetery in Holdrege.
Michael Lester Johnson, 65 years of age, of Holdrege, passed away on Monday, July 9, 2018 at his home surrounded by his family, following a courageous battle with cancer. Mike was born in Holdrege, the eldest of three children born to Lester Andrew “Hurry-up” and Mable Annabelle (MacDonald) Johnson. He received his primary education from Holdrege Public Schools, and then graduated from Holdrege High School with the class of 1971. Mike then pursued higher education at Kearney State College in Kearney, Nebraska. Following his education, he returned to the family farm.
On November 12, 1977, he was united in marriage to Jeanette Lee Vontz in Holdrege, and to this union the couple were blessed with two daughters: Katie and Christine. The family made their home north of Holdrege on the family farm, where Mike worked side-by-side with his father as the 4th generation. At this time, Mike also pursued his pilot’s license to become an Ag pilot, and owned and operated Johnson Flying Service. This past November, Mike and Jeanette celebrated their 40th Wedding Anniversary.
While the girls were growing up, Mike enjoyed coaching their athletic teams, attending all of their activities and was always their biggest supporter. Throughout his life, Mike enjoyed sports, cars, trucks, flying, family, and helping others. Mike spent years as an influential role model in youth sports. From coaching, refereeing, to cheering in the stands he had a passion for teaching “the game.” Mike also loved Nebraska Football, even though he was always “coaching” from the sidelines.
He had a passion for collecting, restoring, and selling cars and trucks. Mike’s friends and family were very important to him. His greatest joy came from his grandkids. Mike cherished every minute he spent with them and every opportunity he had to guide them, coach them, teach them, and most importantly love them! He also enjoyed spending time with his family at Harlan County Lake. His sense of humor and contagious smile will be remembered by all who knew him.
He was preceded in death by his parents; sister, Brenda Lee in infancy; sister-in-law, Barb Teel; niece, Courtney Massoudi; nephew, Jordan Meier; and several aunts, uncles, and cousins.
Mike leaves to celebrate his life; his wife, Jeanette Johnson of Holdrege; two daughters: Katie Ruhga and her husband, Mark of Gretna, Nebraska; and Christine Ridder and her husband, Joe of Holdrege; five grandchildren: Madison, Makenna, and Preston Ruhga, and Jack Michael and Grace Ridder; sister, Gail Sughroue and her husband, Mike of Holdrege; sisters-in-law: Darlene Sweeney and her husband, Mark of Holdrege; Diane Thee and her husband, Mark of Kearney; and Rita Meier of Grand Island, Nebraska; brother-in-law, Bill Teel of Indianola, Nebraska; and a host of nieces, nephews, other relatives and friends.
Visitation will be held on Thursday, July 12, 2018 from 4:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m. with the family greeting from 6:00 p.m. – 7:30 p.m. at the Nelson-Bauer Funeral Home in Holdrege.
A memorial has been established in Mike’s honor, and kindly suggested to the family for later designation.
Expressions of caring and kindness be sent to the family at www.nelsonbauerfh.com
The Nelson-Bauer Funeral Home in Holdrege is in charge of the arrangements.