At the family's request memorial contributions are to be made to those listed below. Please forward payment directly to the memorial of your choice.
Wings of Hope Hospice
530 Linn Street Suite A
Allegan, MI 49010-1562
Life Story / Obituary
Hard work, a love of life and family, and an appreciation of nature and what it can provide were the cornerstones of Johnny Leon Wilson's life.
Johnny came from a large family and married Norma Dean Gunn, whose family was almost as large, and as a result, family was of the upmost importance to both.
Born and raised in northeast Arkansas , Johnny moved to Holland Mi. for a job when farming became so mechanized it eliminated the work he loved so much. Johnny and two of his brothers Hardy and Bo (Willard) found work and settled here, eventually relocating most of the clan along with them.
Johnny met and became engaged to Norma Dean Gunn while still in Arkansas moved her to Michigan with him after getting married on Christmas day, 1947. They suffered the passing of their daughter, Brenda, due to illness but persevered, eventually having three sons, John (Butch), Rick and Randy.
According to the boys, Johnny was the best father imaginable, providing love, guidance and an example for life. Johnny spent 36 years at the old Holland Color factory, which became Chemtron and finally BASF Wyandotte.
Johnny and Norma Dean also purchased a small blueberry farm north of Holland to fulfill his dream of staying a farmer and to provide the space for his huge garden. Their passion for gardening was legendary and provided produce and fruit for the entire family and anyone in need.
After retiring from factory work, they sold the farm and built a home on 10 acres in Hamilton MI. They also bought a motor home and spent the next 16 winters in Texas with brother Ernie and Claudia Wilson and Dean's sister Mae and Andy Riemersma. They maintained a garden, but on a smaller scale due to John hating to cut down enough of the beautiful trees of the property.
After Norma Dean's passing in 2003, Johnny had a hard time adjusting, but the time he spent and the love he received from his boys and grandkids got him through. The passing of his son, Rick, and his grandson Kyle dealt another blow that Johnny took hard.
Medical issues made it difficult to maintain the property so youngest son, Randy and grandson
Corey moved in to assist, eventually moving to Dumont Creek Estates in Allegan Mi.
Complications from diabeties and heart issues led to Johnny moving to Briarwood Assisted Living Facilty in Allegan, where he lived out his life. After some initial resistance, Johnny came to thoroughly enjoy life there, developing great friends with both residents and staff.
The good nature, friendliness and charm that Johnny had been blessed with won everyone over and made him a cherished friend and family member.
He will be missed by all.