George Johnson, 95, passed away peacefully on September 29, surrounded by his family.
The oldest of Fred and Gertrude Johnson's six children, George grew up in Omaha's Benson neighborhood. After attending Creighton Prep and Marquette University, he graduated with a business degree in 1951 from Creighton University. He got his start in business at his father's marking device company, WESSCO. Then he transitioned to medical sales, culminating in the formation of Geomed, Inc., a firm built on George's strong work ethic, relationships and experience. He sold the business at age 80.
In 1952, George married the love of his life, Margaret Toohey of Omaha, and he said it was the best decision he ever made. They celebrated their 71st anniversary in May. His seven children, 22 grandchildren and eight great-grandchildren (and counting!) were his greatest sources of pride, and he delighted in being an integral part of their lives.
George and Margaret showed strength and grace through many hardships, especially the tragic loss of their son, Jay, in 1987. Through it all, George remained strong and never lost his zest for life. He was known for his eternally positive and gregarious personality (he never met a stranger), his kindness, and his passion for sports, whether a participant or spectator. George lettered in baseball, football and basketball in high school. He played in softball, church volleyball and basketball leagues until he was 72. He took up running in his 40s and kept at it until he was nearly 80 and participated in countless road runs. He still worked out at his gym with a trainer until age 94. He was a loyal Creighton men's basketball fan and has held season tickets since 1982. For years, he coached hundreds of youths, including his kids and grandkids, in basketball, little league baseball and softball, teaching fundamentals while instilling positivity and sportsmanship. Last March, George was inducted into the Creighton Prep Sports Hall of Fame.
Leading by example, George and Margaret instilled in their family the value of serving others. He gave many hours to his parish, St. Margaret Mary, and for more than 10 years, George served monthly as an overnight volunteer at the Stephen Center. In 2007, the Johnson family was awarded the Heartland Family Service Salute to Families Community Service Award.
George cherished everything about life. He loved people and getting to know their stories. His impeccable memory for detail was second to none! He especially enjoyed weekly visits to Downs and Gerda's Bakery and, more recently, Olsen's Bake Shop, helping his sons and grandsons with their weekend paper routes, listening to baseball games on the car radio, any home improvement project, traveling the world with Margaret, trips to Minneapolis to visit Julie and Paul, and driving his car up until a few weeks ago, to name a few.
George is survived by his loving wife Margaret; children Matt (Donna), Chris (Colleen), Mary (Dan) Rommelfanger and Rob (Lisa) of Omaha; Paul (Colleen) and Julie (Tom) Shannon of Minneapolis; siblings Richard (Janet) Johnson, Margaret Bowman, Gertrude Fowler and Mary Clare Owen; grandchildren Jennifer (Darin)Taylor, Kate (Nick) Krueger, Leah and Molly (Lewis Cobb) Johnson; Jamie and Lauren Johnson; Maggie (Ben) Gabrek and Gabrielle Johnson; Bridget, Erin and Gavin McQuillan; Patrick, Michael (Katie) and Laura Shannon; Andrew, Christina, Will and Ellie Rommelfanger; George, Jack, Corinne and Fred Johnson; great-grandchildren Cecilia and Charles Taylor, Theo and Henry Krueger, Everett, Ben and Eddie Shannon; Mary Margaret Gabrek; and many nieces and nephews.
He is preceded in death by his parents, beloved son Jay, brother John, brothers-in-law Jack, Ed (Dorothy) and Jerry (Ginny) Toohey, sisters-in-law Elizabeth Toohey and Rita (Lew) Roccaforte and daughter-in-law Kristin.
VISITATION: Wednesday, October 4, 2023, 5 to 7 p.m., St. Margaret Mary Church, 61st & Dodge, followed by a VIGIL SERVICE at 7 p.m. MASS OF CHRISTIAN BURIAL: Thursday, October 5, 2023, 10 a.m., St. Margaret Mary Church. INTERMENT: Calvary Cemetery.
Memorials may be made to the Stephen Center.
Lifelong Creighton fan cheering on the Bluejays in March Madness: