April 17, 2019

James D. Johnson

James Dale Johnson, age 75 of Lincoln, formerly of Blue Hill, was received in the loving arms of Jesus on April 17, 2019. He was born September 3, 1943 in Fort Collins, Colorado to Robert F. and Viola (Carlson) Johnson.

After graduation from Bladen High School in 1961, he entered the Navy on September 18, 1961. He served his country for 4 years and 4 months in CA, LA, TN, VA, SC, and Puerto Rico.

On December 20, 1964 he married his high school sweetheart, LeAnn Luceen Vance at the Bladen United Methodist Church.  She was interested in the new boy in school when she saw how friendly he was and she sure thought he looked nice in his black leather jacket. They lived their first 13 months as a married couple in Ceiba, PR.  His $17.50 wedding ring lasted almost 55 years.

Upon discharge from the Navy, he completed his associate’s degree in Diesel Mechanics in October 1966 from Milford Technical School. He worked in Aurora, Big Springs, and Hastings before moving to Shelton, NE in 1970.   He and LeAnn started their family there raising their two daughters, Renee and Alicia.  He was active in the community through the Jaycees, volunteered as a firefighter and was very active in his church.

In October 1978 he began commuting to Central Community College (CCC) Hastings Campus teaching diesel and then automotive mechanics. He completed his teaching certificate from Kearney State College and graduated in automotive mechanics from CCC.  He received a Bachelor of Science degree in Business from Bellevue University in December 1997. He retired from CCC the end of the Spring 2008 semester.  No matter which car dealership he visited, there was always a prior student working there, and he loved reconnecting with them.

In 1984, he relocated with his family to Blue Hill, NE to be closer to his in-laws, Glenn and Elaine Vance, whom he helped to farm in Bladen.  In Blue Hill, he continued to remain active with his hobbies as well as being an active member of his church.  He also was active in his VFW.  In 2014, after being ill, he and LeAnn moved to Lincoln to be closer to family and medical care.   For the last 5 years of his life he was connected to oxygen and tubes to help him breath.  He suffered daily in silence, never complaining. 

Jim enjoyed gardening and took pride in keeping a nice yard free of weeds, but to the chagrin of his youngest, did not get rid of enough snakes.  As a young man he enjoyed bowling and throughout his life he loved playing his favorite sport, golf.  He enjoyed watching the Masters just days prior to his passing.  He and LeAnn loved to travel and were able to take many memorable trips together and with family over the years.  He continued to be very active in his faith, attending church services and Bible studies.   He loved being a part of his grandchildren’s lives and watching them grow.  He was always willing to help a relative, friend or neighbor.

He is survived by his wife of 54 years LeAnn (Vance) Johnson of Lincoln; daughters and sons-in-law Renee and John Sayer of Schuyler, NE and Alicia and Michael Cruce of Lincoln, NE; sister Jacque Hueftle Stroup of Holdrege, NE; grandchildren Vance and ViviAnne Sayer and Henry, Eliza and Juliet Cruce; sister-in-law Kim Johnson of Red Cloud, NE;  brother-in law James R Larrick of Omaha, NE; sister-in-law Janice Vance Hartman of Guide Rock, NE; and a multitude of nieces, nephews and cousins.

He was preceded in death by his parents Robert and Viola Johnson, in-laws Glenn and Elaine Vance, grandchildren Miles James and Mariah Roos Sayer; brother Stephen Robert Johnson; brother-in-law Ronald Hueftle, brother-in-law Sam Stroup and sister-in-law Vanetta Jean Vance Larrick.

Funeral services will be held Monday April 22, 2019 at Wyuka Funeral Home in Lincoln at 11 AM with visitation beginning at 9 AM at Wyuka Funeral Home with lunch following.  An additional service will be held Tuesday, April 23 at the Bladen United Methodist Church at 11 AM, with visitation beginning at 10 AM. Burial, with military honors, will be held at Eastlawn Cemetery in Bladen.  Lunch to follow.



  1. Jim and LeAnn were our neighbors and good friends in Shelton. I could always call on Jim for help when things broke down around the house, like when my refrigerator was barking. He will be greatly missed.

  2. So sorry for your loss. May God be especially close during this time of sorrow.

  3. Sending my thoughts to LeAnn and family.

  4. We are so sorry to hear the news, LeAnn we have been praying and thinking of you both. God bless

  5. LeAnn and family, we are so sorry for your loss, he’s at peace now, I know you will miss him, but hang on to the good times, you took wonderful care of him, but The Dear Lord decided it was time to stop his suffering and wanted him home. Prayers to you all and especially you LeAnn.

  6. So sorry LeAnn and family. We know he will be missed but God decided Jim had suffered enough. Remember the good times to get through these hard times and Jim will always be in your heart. My sympathy to you all and especially LeAnn, my friend of almost 70 years. Let me know if you need anything.

  7. Dear Renee and family,
    We send our sympathy and prayers to all of you. A wonderful husband and father has been chosen to journey home during the most Holy Week of the year. Wow. He is in heaven to witness the Truth of the resurrection. Jesus saying, “Jim, welcome home my brother. What place do you want in this heavenly choir of angels and saints? I’m assuming not soprano!” Then a huge embrace for God’s beloved son from the Son of God. Your sorrow is so human and necessary. But I’m sure that because you are faith filled joy has to penetrate that grief to allow to peace and relief knowing where Dad is. I think you had better be ready for quite an Easter Sunday. I trust you are going to hear his voice in that choir. Thru a gentle kiss on the cheek from a breeze from him, or possibly a hug from someone that you know was just like Dad’s. Will you be eating one of his favorite dishes? The smell will be so strong. All your senses are heightened by the Holy Spirit- – -allow them. Tears or laughs they are gifts. Easter will always be a treasured holiday for you. Hope he keeps the dust bunnies out of that mansion until you can someday join him and help. Remembering you and sending our love and prayers. Don and Betty Bohaty


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