Clayton Palmer Johnson

July 9, 1937 ~ September 7, 2023 (age 86) 86 Years Old


Clayton Palmer Johnson, 86, of Worden, Illinois, peacefully passed away at 6:23 PM on Thursday, September 7, 2023 at his residence in Worden, Illinois.  He was born July 9, 1937 in Chicago, Illinois, the son of the late Clifford Donald & Ethel Corrine (Palmer) Johnson.  He married Jessie May Gustafson on August 29, 1959 at St. Stephen's Church in Chicago, Illinois, and the two shared a loving marriage for 64 years.  

Friends & family remember Clay as a big man with an even bigger heart.  A family man, he loved spending time with his grandkids & great grandkids, who affectionately called him "The Great Watermelon", "Mr. Wonderful", or "Mr. Breadman".  He loved sports, whether playing football & baseball in his youth or cheering on the St. Louis Cardinals & Kansas City Chiefs on TV.  He was also an avid gardener, taking particular pride in his tomatoes and six-foot sunflowers.

Clay was employed as a routeman for Canteen Corporation in Chicago, Illinois for many years, & was a member of Net Community Church of Staunton, Illinois.  His faith was of the utmost importance to him.  He taught Sunday School, led Bible Studies, and leant his beautiful tenor voice to multiple church choirs throughout his life as a child of Christ.  A natural born teacher & problem solver, Clay never missed an opportunity to pass on a life lesson.  But more importantly, he never missed an opportunity to laugh, cracking jokes with his loved ones even through his last days.

He is survived by his wife -  Jessie May Johnson of Worden, IL;  three sons -  Steve (Debbie) Johnson of Staunton, IL,  Clayton Johnson of Batavia, IL,  & Kenneth Johnson of Ellsworth, IL;  one daughter -  Beth (TJ) Helmerich of North Hollywood, CA;  ten grandchildren -  Bram, Rory, James, Melissa, Zachary, Colin, Grace, Eric, Hannah, & Maxwell;  seven great grandchildren -  Margot, Molly, Matilda, Millie, Lucas, Mabel, & Mina;  & one brother -  Ken Johnson of Albuquerque, NM;  several nieces & nephews also survive.  Besides his parents, he was preceded in death by two daughters-in-law -  Debra Johnson & Jodi Borger-Johnson;  one brother -  Cliff;  & two sisters -  Karen & Connie.

Details on Clay's memorial service will be provided at a later time.  Memorials are suggested to either Net Community Church of Staunton or to Wounded Warriors.

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