Maurice E. “Moe” Johnson died peacefully after a brief illness on May 18, 2020 in Topeka, KS at the age of 90.
Moe is survived by his children Carl Johnson (spouse Phil Griffin) of Topeka and Jae Johnson (spouse Catherine Ford) of Austin, Texas; Grandson Ben Johnson (spouse Victoria) of Sioux Falls, South Dakota and Granddaughter Jessie Johnson Leeper (spouse Matt) as well as Great Granddaughter Hadley Rose Leeper, all of Marion, Iowa; and beloved companion and friend Lee Howard of Wichita, KS. He is also survived by many nieces and nephews and their families. He was preceded in death by his loving wife Mary H. Johnson and son Chris Johnson, as well as all his siblings.
Moe was born the youngest of eight children on April 25, 1930 in Aledo, IL to Martin and Minnie Johnson. In spite of the family’s poverty, six of the children went to college. Moe graduated from the University of Illinois with a Master of Economics. He married Mary in 1954 after tasting her cookies. The couple had three children and taught them to be independent and to give to others. Until Mary’s death in 2009, the couple baked cookies, served the community, traveled and pursued many life adventures together.
Moe spent his entire professional career with the U.S. Department of Agriculture with increasing responsibility, moving from Springfield, IL to Cheyenne, WY to Washington, D.C. to Madison, WI to his final post as the head of the Kansas Crop and Livestock Reporting Service in Topeka. He retired at the age of 58 and began a long career of volunteer work. His commitment to volunteering earned him the honor of being selected as an Olympic Torch Runner during the relay across America to Atlanta in 1996. He was a longtime volunteer at Botanica in Wichita as well as Harry Hynes Memorial Hospice, where he was honored in 2019 for twenty-five years of continuous volunteer service. He was an active and dedicated member of College Hill United Methodist Church. He loved to travel and was an avid card player, reveling in his many wins at SkipBo. He also loved people and made new friends at each stage of his life.
A memorial service will be scheduled later when friends and family are able to gather in larger numbers. In lieu of flowers, please send memorial donations in memory of Moe Johnson to Harry Hynes Memorial Hospice at 313 S. Market, Wichita, KS 67202 orBotanica, 701 N. Amidon, Wichita, KS 67203. Condolences can be sent to MoeJohnsonFamily@gmail.com .