Ronald Keith Johnson

December 24, 1945March 10, 2018
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Ronald Keith Johnson, 72 of Columbus, Georgia, passed away at his home on Saturday March 10th surrounded by his loving family. Funeral services will be held on Wednesday, March 14, 2018 at 3:00 pm at Striffler-Hamby Mortuary, Columbus. A visitation will be held from 2:00 until 2:50 pm, prior to services. Interment will be in the Chapel of the Pines at Parkhill Cemetery.

Ronald was born on Christmas Eve 1945 to Hillie D. & Evelyn Patterson Johnson, the future Eagle Scout, member of the Order of the Arrow and 1962 graduate of Columbus High School; Mr. Johnson found purpose beyond his hometown. After completing his Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Alabama at Tuscaloosa, he pursued a life in the military climbing the ranks to 1st lieutenant in the U.S. Army until August of 1975. While stationed at RedStone Arsenal in Huntsville, Alabama, Mr. Johnson was rewarded for his leadership as a Missile Maintenance Officer and an instructor for numerous military courses with a National Defense Service Medal and many other civil service awards and certificates. After leaving active duty, Mr. Johnson went on to working with the Ft. Benning Civil Service as a Director of Transportation before retiring after 38 years of service. In his spare time, he found a love for music and put it to use as a Minister of Music at Chase Memorial Baptist Church where he also served as a Deacon. While his accomplishments cannot go unnoticed, Mr. Johnson was known to be a devoted and selfless husband, father, grandfather and great grandfather and will be missed by all who knew and loved him. Preceded in death by his loving mother, father, and grandson Justin Scott Neves, Mr. Johnson leaves behind a wife Marsha Deal Johnson, his children Sharon Johnson (Roger) Lloyd, Kathy Johnson (Russ) Wagers, a sister Nancy (Lee) Goodson of Santa Rose, Florida, several nieces, nephews, and one great grandchild. Fond memories and expressions of sympathy may be shared at for the Johnson family.


  • Evelyn Patterson Johnson, Mother
  • Hillie D Johnson, Father
  • Justin Scott Neves, Grandson
  • Marsha Deal Johnson, Wife
  • Sharon Johnson Lloyd, Daughter
  • Roger Lloyd, Son-in-law
  • Kathy Johnson Wagers, Daughter
  • Russ Wagers, Son-in-law
  • Nancy J. Goodson, Sister


  • Funeral Service Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Ronald Keith Johnson

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March 14, 2018

I am truly sorry for your loss. I have fond memories of you and Ronald plus Kay and others at Morningside Baptist Church. There were the Valentine Banquets, Training Union, Sunday School, junior choir performances complete with half robes and bows, etc. Those were the days--a long time ago.

I'm thinking about you and your family at this time. May you have peace knowing that you will be reunited one day.

GinnyandArt Houlditch

March 14, 2018

Marsha we are so sorry for your loss. We are thinking about you especially this afternoon. You are in our prayers.

Cheryl Little

March 14, 2018

Nancy and Marsha, We are so sorry for your loss. I always enjoyed our meetings at the grocery store. Know you are in our thoughts and prayers. Phil, and Cheryl Little and Sue Goodson

Peggy and Kenneth Corley

March 14, 2018

With heartfelt sympathy and love. Peggy and Ken Corley and family

Jerry Newman

March 13, 2018

Our thoughts and prayers are with the family at this difficult time.
Jerry & Joyce Newman

Nancy Carney (Mangar)

March 13, 2018

Mr J (as what we called him) was my boss for many years. He was a good man and very family oriented. My prayers go out to Marsha and family. God Bless

Wanda (Deal) Lewis

March 13, 2018

Dear Marsha,
Our sincere sympathy and love goes out to you and your family during this hard time of grief. May God's grace be with you and His comfort be abundant, providing you courage and strength for the days ahead.

Praying for all of you,
Wanda (Deal) and Paul Lewis

Pat McIntosh

March 13, 2018

I worked with Ron at Fort Benning he was a kind man always looking for ways to help



“Seeing is believing.” For many, those words simply represent a motto, but for Ronald "Ron" Keith Johnson, it summarized in every way who he was. He was modest, quiet and observant, taking in everything around him and always thinking before acting. He was a realist, someone who was efficient and practical in everything he did. Yet, he was a devoted, friendly person who truly cared about those around him.

       He was the son of Hillie D. Johnson and Evelyn R. Patterson Johnson. Raised in Columbus, Georgia, he was brought up to be tolerant and trustworthy. As a child, he learned to be conscientious, responsible, and the importance of family.These were all traits that he would carry with him throughout his life.

      As a young boy, Ron was always aware of how others around him felt and this quality served him well. With a deep capacity to tolerate the feelings of others, Ron was generally able to avoid conflicts. It seemed as if Ron was the family member who was always working to keep stress at bay. Preferring a quiet environment where he could concentrate, Ron also had the ability to relate well with his family and friends. He was raised with one younger sister, Nancy Johnson Goodson. He and Nancy had the typical rivalries while growing up but they deeply cared for each other and shared many life experiences over the years.

      Growing up, Ron was one of those children who didn’t need to be in the center of a whirlwind of activity. He was content to entertain himself. He was never pushy when it came to games and other activities, but rather, he was able to enjoy the pure fun these could bring. In just about everything he did as a child, Ron was intent on pleasing both the adults and the other children around him. He took part in a number of activities as a child. He took part in baseball and dedicated himself as an Eagle Scout. He particularly enjoyed scouting in his spare time. Ron took a lot of pride by obtaining status as an Order of the Arrow in the Eagle Scouts.

      He enjoyed learning. He always had a great memory and was particularly skilled at retaining factual information. Ron was generally quiet in class, learning best through observation. He often showed great concentration and was competent at completing the tasks at hand. Good with details, Ron was painstaking and accurate in his efforts. All of these talents culminated in a successful high school career. He graduated from Columbus High School in 1964. Ron enjoyed some courses more than others, especially history.

      Ron had a good disposition for the challenges of college. He always enjoyed reading, so all of those lengthy required reading assignments seemed to be less of a burden for him. In fact, Ronald seemed to absorb and remember everything he read. Not all things came easily to Ron, however, and he found success by being a diligent and accurate person who would dig into a project and work through until it reached its completion. He was very thorough and labored long and hard in order to reach his goals. He earned his B. S. in Business from the University of Alabama. He also pursued graduate school, earning his Masters in Personal Management at Troy University.

      Most folks would say that Ron was shy until they got to know him. Those who were privileged to know him well learned that he was a solid, good friend. He was reluctant to generalize about people, and he based his friendships on his personal experiences. Because of this, Ron best trusted those people that he truly knew. He was concerned about how those around him felt, and he always seemed to uncover the positive side of people. He could relate to others and had the ability to see their point of view, to “walk a mile in their shoes,” as the saying goes. The friends that he made, Ronald kept. While growing up, some of his best friends were Freddie Cone, Doug Hardy, Doung Monfort. Later in life, he became friends with David Tumlin, Roy Roughton, Alan Corley, Mitchell Norris, Chris Deal, Larry Kees, Jimmy Durham, and Pat Elliott.

      Love can’t be defined but must be experienced. That was so true for Ron. On April 27, 1967 Ronald married Marsha R. Deal at Morningside Baptist Church of Columbus, Georgia. He was totally committed to Marsha and maintained traditional ideals about marriage. It was as if Ron naturally sensed his spouse’s needs, and accepted those feelings unconditionally. Although he disliked conflict, he did not take flight from discord, but rather sought to preserve harmony even during the most trying times.

      Ron was a good father to his children. He had “old fashioned” parental values and could handle typical family conflicts in a fair and calm manner. Because he trusted emotions, Ron was reluctant to force issues and used gentle persuasion to resolve situations. In this way he seemed to radiate an aura of warmth and caring to those around him, always thinking before acting. In addition, he was a master planner. No matter how hectic life around him might be, he seemed to know and track everyone’s schedule. Ronald was blessed with two children, Sharon and Kathy along with three grandchildren and one great-grandchild, Julia, Jacob, and Lauren.

      If you gave Ron a deadline, he would meet it. At work, Ron was always on task. Without hesitation, Ron could adhere to any assignment and see it through to its completion. His primary occupation was Transportation Manager for Ft. Benning Civil Service where he was employed for 38 years before retiring. During that time, Ron excelled in working with small groups in order to complete assignments. He was able to quickly grasp concrete ideas and could organize and plan the best way to accomplish things with remarkable consistency. He was good at staying on track and was considerate in listening to what others had to say. In this way, Ron had a true gift for being able to come up with practical resolutions to difficult problems. He was often the team member who managed to put forth a win/win solution for all parties.

      Ron was an Army Veteran. He seemed to thrive on the routines offered up by the military. Being a literal thinker with a calm exterior helped him handle the rigors of the military. During his time in the military, Ron brought his family with him while he served at RedStone Arsenal. Through his hard work and dedication, he achieved the rank of 1st Lieutenant and was the recipient to several awards including a Department of the Army Achievement Medal, Superior Civil Service Medal, Commander Awards from the Department of the Army, Military Merit Award, and numerous other certificates of recognition.

      Ron liked to experience things first hand, in addition to simply learning about them. This quality influenced his choice of leisure time activities. A methodical and patient worker, Ron preferred to set aside uninterrupted time to work on his hobbies. His favorite pursuits were working in his yard and gardening. Ron was content to sit quietly alone, enjoying his hobbies all by himself and could often be found just reading about his favorite pastimes.

      While thorough and measured in his approach to things, Ron often liked to physically do things rather than just think about them. He was like that with sports. Recreational sports included church league softball. He also enjoyed the statistical data and the facts behind the sports. In this way, he was something of a sports fan and enjoyed watching his favorite teams whenever he got the opportunity. Tops on his list were Alabama football. ROLL TIDE!

      Due to his excellent organizational skills, Ron was a welcome addition to the professional and community organizations to which he belonged. He effortlessly brought established, successful methods to the discussion table, along with a generous helping of common sense. In college, Ronald joined the Civitan and Future Business Leaders of America. Throughout his later years, Ronald was an active member of the Columbus Youth Program.

      An individual who respected and maintained traditional values, his faith was important to him. His compassion, consideration and sympathy toward others was evident in his personal beliefs. He was a member Morningside Baptist Church as a child and into his early life before dedicating his life to Chase Memorial Baptist Church as an adult. During that time, he was a Deacon and Minister of Music.

      Anyone who traveled or went on vacation with Ron had smooth sailing. It was often taken for granted that he was the trip planner. He would start early and examine all of the possibilities, selecting the best and most effective options. Favorite vacations included the mountains and beach.

       Aside from his family, Ron found comfort alongside those with four feet. His most cherished animals, or friends, would be his two cocker spaniels, Buffy and Molly, and a cat, Alley. Once his beloved pets passed away, his family was rounded out by Ron's call to home, feed, and rescue feral cats. He was as loyal to his pets as they were to him.

      When Ron's retirement finally arrived in 2011, he was well prepared. He had taken the time to learn about his various options and chose his course wisely. His new life involved relocating to his hometown of Columbus, Georgia where he found new pleasure in caring for others. Even in retirement, Ron continued to stay in touch with his old friends while making plenty of new acquaintances. He was active in the community and felt fulfilled with the opportunities retirement offered him.

      Ron passed away on March 10, 2018 at his home. Ron was lost to a sudden and unexpected death doing what he loved--working in his yard. He is survived by his wife, Marsha; two daughters, Sharon and Kathy; his sister, Nancy Goodson; several grandchildren, nieces and nephews. Services were held at Striffler-Hamby Chapel in Columbus, Georgia, and he was laid to rest in Parkhill's Chapel of the Pines Mausoleum.

      It is said that some people can’t see the forest for the trees. Ron was able to focus on each individual tree, tending to its needs, thus making the forest stronger as a whole. He was a trustworthy, pragmatic and sympathetic person, the kind of man to whom everyone was drawn. He was thorough and practical. Ron Johnson was very literal with his words, and you never had to guess where you stood with him. He was a selfless, loving, and devoted husband, father, and grandfather to his children. He will be missed dearly by all who knew and loved him.