Gary W JOHNSON
August 30, 1942 – November 16, 2020
Gary Wesley Johnson passed away on November 16, 2020 at the age of 78 after a fall at his home in Largo, Florida. A devout Christian, passionate musician, one-time ballroom dancer and loyal patron of family-style restaurants, Gary, son of Harry Arthur and Greta Wiseman Johnson, grew up on his parents’ farm in Wilcox, Pennsylvania with his brothers, Herbert and Brian, and his sisters, Patricia and Christine. He met and married his beloved wife, Ardys (known as Arddy), while both were studying at Indiana University of Pennsylvania, where Gary earned a degree in music and played trumpet in a jazz combo called The Mellow Men. After graduation, he taught high school music in New Jersey, where his first child was born, and earned a Master’s Degree in Music at Columbia University. In the 1970s, Gary took a sharp career turn by joining IBM – then known for mainframe computers with punch cards - and soon took a job transfer to Florida, where he spent most of his 40+ year career with IBM and where his two younger children were born.
He continued his musical passions by playing piano and trumpet in church services. He also bought a Winnebago camper van in which the family of five spent nearly every vacation – including almost every year driving to Wilcox to his father’s farm and various Johnson family reunions around the Eastern Coast and one epic cross-country trip to California with stops at the Grand Canyon and Yellowstone Park. In his 50s, Gary took up ballroom dancing to have a shared hobby with his wife Arddy. Later, he would become an avid boater in Tampa, Florida, buying a house on a river to be able to go out on the water whenever he pleased. Gary was preceded in death by his wife in 2019. He is survived by children Kay, Doug and Pam and granddaughters Haley and Kelly. The family will hold a private graveside funeral.
10:00 am - 10:30 am
Sylvan Abbey Memorial Park