Leonard F. Johnson, 85, Topeka, died Saturday, July 18, 2020 at Midland Hospice House.
Leonard was born March 31, 1935, on a farm 4 ½ miles SW of Vermillion, KS, the 8th child of Rex and Effie (Havens) Johnson. He graduated from Vermillion Rural High School in 1954.
He joined the U.S. Army in October 1955 and retired in December 1975. While stationed in Regensburg, Germany he married Ingrid E. Haas on April 24, 1958.
During his time in the Army, he served as a VIP Flight Engineer on a CH-34 Helicopter for the 7th US Army and flew all over Europe. One of these flights was with Bobby Kennedy and his family. Before returning to the States in 1968, he trained fixed wing pilots to rotor wing pilots in preparation for the Vietnam War.
After returning to the States in 1968, he worked as the crew chief on the helicopter for Vice President Hubert Humphrey in Minneapolis, MN.
From June 23, 1969 – July 22, 1970, he served a tour in Vietnam. After returning to the States, he was stationed in Savannah, GA, training Vietnamese pilots. In 1971 he went to Recruiting School and was stationed in El Cajon, CA and Harrisburg, PA as a recruiter where he retired from the Army.
He moved to St. George, KS where he worked at Ft. Riley for Civil Service. After 20 years he retired from Civil Service and worked part time for 10 years at Enterprise Rent-A-Car. In 2010, he moved to Topeka.
Leonard enjoyed traveling, fishing, hunting and water sports. He raised cattle and kept bees for several years. He had many dogs and 2 cats while in St. George. He always had a vegetable garden and did many improvements on his house.
He was preceded in death by his parents; and 6 siblings. Survivors include his wife of 62 years. Other survivors include a brother, Frank Johnson, Springfield, MO; and numerous nieces and nephews.
Cremation has taken place and a graveside service with military honors will be held at 11:00 a.m. on Saturday, September 12, 2020 at the Vermillion Cemetery, Vermillion, Kansas.
Memorial contributions may be made to Midland Care, 200 SW Frazier Circle, Topeka, KS 66606.
Dove Southwest Chapel is assisting with arrangements.
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