Mechanic 03
Official Obituary of

Willard "Sonny" Robert Johnson

February 11, 1940 ~ February 29, 2024 (age 84) 84 Years Old

Willard "Sonny" Johnson Obituary

Willard Robert "Sonny" Johnson was born February 11, 1940, in Mansfield, OH to the late Willard Edward and Gladys Marie (Hollinger) Johnson. He was a lifelong area resident primarily living in Crawford County, apart from several years he enjoyed in Winter Park FL.

He passed away on leap year; February 29, 2024. Those years represented by that dash, (2/11/1940 - 2/29/2024) created many joyous memories.

Having a long-standing joke with his family that he was a Leap Day Baby; it is wondered if something in his soul knew he would depart on that date.

It was June 1968 that he married the love of his life, Sharon Kay (Bachelder) Johnson, and they would go on to enjoy over 55 years of each other's love. Sharon survives.

Sonny is also survived by his beloved daughter Kimberly (Chuck Rowalt) Johnson and two treasured granddaughters, Autumn Sunshine, and Amelia Rose, one brother, Walter A. of Galion, OH; seven sisters, Wilma "Patty" Kinney, Wanda M. Lyons, Wanita H. Busler and Wendy S. (Gerald) McFarland all of Galion, OH; Waive J. (Bill) Sharp of Bucyrus, OH, Willa E. (Raymond) Barnes of Ravenna, KY, and Winifred E. Johnson of Mansfield, OH. Two sisters-in-law; Susan Mitchell of Amesville, OH and Judy (Craig) Greanya of Galion, OH, plus just shy of 100 nieces and nephews, many of whom will all remember Sonny fondly with memories of adventuring to concerts, fairs, the zoo, and all-around trips into nature where he was always happy to smile and make others smile.

Many wonderful memories were created with all those surviving, as well as with those who preceded him in death. In addition to his parents, he was preceded by an infant daughter, Sheryl Kay, four brothers; Wayne E., Warren D., William G., and G. Willis; one sister, Wynne Anne; several brothers and sisters in-law, nieces, and a nephew, plus his mother and father-in-law, Betty and Gene Bachelder, and numerous aunts/uncles/cousins.

Sonny came from a huge family and was a simplistic man with a huge heart. He had not one mean bone in his body. He was a gentle and humble being, embodying grace and mercy to all mankind, rich, poor, or otherwise.

Sonny had a beautiful taste for life. When spending time with his family, you could pretty much assure it revolved around a meal of some sort! That man loved to eat. It was a running joke at family reunions and shindigs that if you were too full to finish your plate, you just needed to pass it down to Sonny. He was always happy to enjoy it. "He likes it... hey Mikey" should have featured Sonny in the commercial. The man loved it hot. He thoroughly enjoyed a good jalapeño cheeseburger or a habanero, anything. He drank hot sauce like some folk's drink Starbucks! He loved peppers so much that he, of course, grew his own.

No matter how much Sonny ate he ALWAYS had room for dessert. Especially if it involved blueberries. He loved blueberry everything!

Sonny was blessed with a crazy green thumb that he inherited from his Ma, Gladys Johnson. His specialty was citrus trees. He grew lemon and orange trees (a practice he started while living in FL), ferns, vines, houseplants, cacti, aloe Vera, and the list goes on and on. Given a patch of desert he could turn it into a tropical oasis!

Sonny worked side by side as a shade tree mechanic out of his little brother, Warren's back-Rally in the Alley garage for many years, under the shade of "The Ugly Tree" after departing PPG in Crestline, OH and having been a school bus driver for quite some time, where he'd met his beloved Sharon at Northmor high school where he drove her bus, and later married her after her graduation.

Sonny pursued his passion for vehicles for as long as his body would let him, including car shows, Nascar auto races, and eventually cruising the back roads looking for long forgotten old cars in overgrown long grass, once his days of wrenching, or driving a tow truck, driving a school bus, and scouring junk yards were through... Cars were a deep-seated passion, even to the end! From restoring classics to working on Sharon's Dodge Challenger she raced in Norwalk to just helping friends and family with repairs, Sonny loved cars!

He was also a skilled HVAC technician alongside his father and brothers through Johnson and Sons Plumbing and Heating in the mid-century USA. Sonny was no stranger, by any means to anything mechanical of any sort, but his favorite tool by far, was duct tape.

Those funny bumper stickers and tee shirts that you see with silly sayings about duct tape fixing anything. Sonny took that to heart. Sonny was truly the Duct Tape King, and his family were his subjects standing in awe of his creations.

Sonny was a member of Mansfield Open Bible Church. It was there that he was baptized by Pastor Dink Porter. Sonny really lived a life in accordance with the teachings of Christ. He was humble and kind and always there to help.

Please join the family in remembering Sonny on Tuesday, March 5, 2024, at Mark A. Schneider-Gompf Funeral Home, 303 Portland Way North, Galion, OH.

As Sonny was a simple man, and enjoyed the simple things in life, the services will be a casual affair. Friends and family may attend a brief calling hour from 12:00PM to 1:00PM

Immediately following, at 1:30PM graveside services will be held at Crawford County Memory Gardens on Lincoln Highway.

Please join us for one final, "see you when we get there."

Those wishing to share a memory of Sonny or send condolences to the Johnson family may do so by visiting

The Mark A. Schneider-Gompf Funeral Home, 303 Portland Way North, Galion is honored to serve the family of Willard Robert "Sonny" Johnson.

To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Willard "Sonny" Robert Johnson, please visit our floral store.

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March 5, 2024

12:00 PM to 1:00 PM
Schneider-Gompf Funeral Home, Galion
303 Portland Way N.
Galion, OH 44833

Graveside Service
March 5, 2024

1:30 PM
Crawford County Memory Gardens
Crawford County Road 330
Crestline, OH 44827


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