Maurice E. “Moe” Johnson

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 .

8 “Maurice E. “Moe” Johnson

  1. You know, we forgot to mention that Moe was the son of an immigrant. He was very proud to be Swedish-American and to carry on family traditions.

  2. I’m real sorry I never got to know Moe personally. Sounds like we had a lot of interests in common. Jane, I’m so sorry your daddy’s gone. Sounds like he was a good daddy, and I’m sure you’re missing him terribly. May he rest in peace.

  3. Moe Johnson illuminated The Regent, the independent living residence where he lived during his last years in Wichita. His smile and his genuine interest in people made him one of the best known and well loved residents. We looked forward to Thursday dinners when Lee Howard would join him here. The dining room always came alive with the laughter and joking from their table.

    I worked in the Dept. of Agriculture South Building in Washington, D.C. a couple of years after he did a stint there. What a pleasure (now) to recall those exceedingly hot summers (the building was not air conditioned until about 1960; when it was built, the Secretary of Agriculture had said, “the farmers don’t have air conditioning, so we shouldn’t either.”)

    Moe’s dedication to volunteer service made him one of the people I admire most. He is a legend at Harry Hines Hospice, Botanica, his church and a dozen other places where he gave his time, energy and friendship.

  4. Enjoyed working with “Moe” at Hospice even tho I made him come in way too early. We always had our roll and coffee after we finished work compliments of Panerra Bread.

  5. Dear Carl & Family,
    I celebrate your father’ life for all of the selfless good he did in giving of himself in this selfish world. Prayers for your comfort in your loss. Blessings.

  6. Carl, Jae and families!
    Your father was an extraordinary Man! We loved Moe❣️ We give thanks for his life, the many ways he touched us and others! May you find peace in your memories and with those who you are surrounded! May the gentle care, the kindnesses shown and the love being shared soften your loss.
    With love
    Pat McClellan & Marty Leppke

  7. I am a member of College Hill UMC. I think everyone in the church knew Moe and loved him. He always had a smile on his face and was friendly to everyone with a “Hi”. I attended several music events at Botanica and Moe and Lee were always there. A group from Chum would sit together around several tables, sharing snacks and music. The world was a better place because of Moe. He will be missed.

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