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R. Wayne Johnson

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R. Wayne Johnson Obituary
R. Wayne
Johnson
La Libertad, El Salvador- Ross Wayne Johnson died suddenly at his home in La Libertad, El Salvador, on Jan. 20, 2017, at the age of 56.
He was born in Okinawa, Japan, where his father was a military officer. Later residences were in Nutley, N.J. and Woodstock, Stone Ridge Hasting-on-Hudson, Tillson, Hurley and Ulster Park, all in New York, and lastly, in the environs of San Salvador, El Salvador.
Wayne was graduated from Kingston High School in 1978, the University of Virginia in 1982, Albany Law School in 1987, and from the University of Houston in 2010 with a LLM degree in International and Immigration Law. In 1976-77 he was a Rotary International Interchange student in Santa Ana, El Salvador, a formative life experience. Later travels took him to European countries and South Africa.
Professionally, he joined the family business, Johnson Ford, Inc., in Kingston, N.Y., most recently as president and CEO until 2008. In El Salvador, he formed a law practice dedicated to helping Salvedorenios unite their families in El Salvador and the U.S. He was the sole north American attorney with permanent residency in El Salvador educated to address immigration rights in the U.S.
Wayne was a fourth generation member of Rotary International, and this affiliation became central to his civic life. He joined the Kingston Rotary Club in 1987, served a term as club president, and indefatigably chaired the Rotary International District 721 Youth Exchange for many years. He also served the Ulster County Boy Scouts, the UARC, and the Red Cross. In El Salvador, he was a member of the San Salvador Cuscatlan Rotary Club and their projects including Austin Smiles Plastic Surgery Foundation in their yearly visits to perform facial surgeries on needy children, bringing potable water to remote communities, providing backpacks to elementary school children, encouraging fellow members to endow the Rotary Paul Harris Fellowship: the "Gift of Life" which grants surgeries to children with heart and club foot deformities, and countless other projects. He was the essence of the Rotary motto "Service Above Self".
Wayne loved his family beyond measure. He loved a good party (think Rotary chicken Barbecues!) he loved dining out! He loved his dog Hershey! He loved helping people of all persuasions, ages, nationalities. He was kind. He was generous. He loved and lived life to its fullest and was taken from it much too soon. He will forever be young in our hearts.
Wayne is survived by his beloved wife, Rosa Maria Fortin Huezo, a former Justice of the El Salvador Supreme Court; his adored children: daughter Courtney Haines and her husband Collin of Portland, Ore., son Ross Wright Johnson of Rochester, N.Y., and son Wm. Ashby Johnson of St. George, Utah, and their mother Julie Ann Johnson; his stepsons, Samuel Leiva and Daniel Leiva; his mother, Janis Leas of Stone Ridge, N.Y. and his father Ross W. Johnson of Hot Springs, Ark; his sister, Leslie Mather of Accord, N.Y. and his brother, David Johnson of Chandler, Ariz.; the family Fortin Huezo of San Salvador, El Salvador; the family of Emilia Salgado Pacas in Santa Ana, El Salvador; and his AFS sister, Turid Jorgensen of Halden, Norway.
Wayne was laid to rest on Jan. 23, 2017 at the Cemeterio Montelena in in San Salvador.
Contributions in his memory may be sent to the Rotary Foundation, 1560 Sherman Ave., Evanston, Ill., 60201.
Published in Daily Freeman on Feb. 5, 2017
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