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Photo courtesy of Williams Funeral Home
Verle D. Johnson
Jan 15, 1923 – Aug 21, 2012 (Age 89)
Verle D. Johnson ("Heavy" as he was known to everyone since before he started kindergarten) was born January 15, 1923 at Bellaire, Kansas to Katherine (Elliott) and Ross Johnson. Verle passed away August 21, 2012 at the Webster County Community Hospital following a severe stroke at the age of 89. Heavy grew up and attended rural schools in several north central Kansas communities and the Guide Rock and Inavale areas in Nebraska. He attended high school two years in Inavale and graduated from Red Cloud High School in 1942. He worked for a short time for Livingston Funeral Home in Hastings before he was drafted into the service of his country on March 10, 1943. Heavy received his basic training in North Carolina where he was disignated a light truck driver and assigned to the 94th Infantry. He sailed out of New York on the Queen Elizabeth, headed to England. After a two week orientation, he became a "forward observer" for the 94th Infantry and followed General Patton in the march clear across Europe, finally getting to Prague, Czechoslovakia at war's end. The war, for Heavy, seriously began when they crossed the English Channel and landed at Utah Beach on the coast of France, through the Argonne Forest in northern France and into Germany and the Battle of the Bulge. He was awarded four battle ribbons with Bronze Stars for the Rhineland, Central Europe, Ardennes and Northern France campaigns. He also received the Good Conduct Medal and was issued a lapel pin for No Time Lost Under AW 107. Heavy was very proud of having been a part of the 94th and helping win the war. Having been a forward observer scout during the whole march across Europe, he and a fellow scout had many harrowing experiences together, being out in front of their units and ahead of the front lines. Following his discharge from the Army at Jefferson Barracks, Missouri on January 13, 1946, he returned to Webster County, Nebraska and engaged in farming with his father. He was united in marriage with Phyllis Sidlo on January 11, 1955. They lived on several farms in Webster County before purchasing a farm northwest of Inavale in 1955, where they spent their entire lives farming and raising Hereford cattle. Phyllis preceded him in death April 17, 2006. He is survived by a sister, Valda McMahon of Eugene, Oregon, nieces, nephews and many friends. Graveside services with military honors will be held Tuesday, 11:00 a.m., August 28, 2012 at Ft. McPherson National Cemetery at Maxwell, Nebraska. Williams Funeral Home 241 West 4th Avenue Red Cloud, Nebraska 68970