Lavern L. ‘Hardrock’ Johnson

Lavern L. “Hardrock” Johnson, 77, of Morris, and formerly of Elwood, and Anna-Jonesboro died Tuesday evening, Nov. 14, 2017, at Morris Hospital, surrounded by family.

Born on April 27, 1940, in Union County, Lavern Leon was a son of Earl Edward and Blanche Agnes Freeman Johnson. He was raised in Union County and graduated from Shawnee High School in Wolf Lake with the class of 1958.

He served in the U.S. Air Force.

On May 13, 1967, he married Patricia Bailey in Washington, Ky.

He was elevated to a Master Mason on Nov. 22, 1968, and remained a member of the Matteson Lodge No. 175 AF&AM in Joliet, for the past 48 years. He belonged to First Presbyterian Church in Morris, and was a regular of the Morris McDonald’s coffee club.

Hardrock also known as “Rocky” up north, retired from the Dresden Nuclear Station after 22 years, where he was a maintenance foreman. Following his retirement, he gained employment with the Grundy County Sheriff’s Office, where he has worked for the past 19 years, currently as a process server.

He was a great sports enthusiast, who avidly followed Illinois basketball and the St. Louis Cardinals. He also enjoyed tending to his lawn; watching westerns and World War II movies, and traveling to all four corners of the United States. He took great pleasure in attending his grandchildren’s activities, and will be remembered for not only collecting coins, but sharing coins.

Survivors include his wife of 50 years, Patricia; daughter Karen (James) Hinds of Shorewood; son Mark (Lori) Johnson of Morris; five grandchildren, Brett, Noah and Emma Hinds and Alexis and Colby Johnson; one brother John (Judi) Johnson of Hollister, Calif.; sisters-in-law and brothers-in-law Ervina Johnson of Jonesboro, LouAnn Johnson of Fresno, Calif., Betty (James) Collins of East Bernstadt, Ky., Richard (Eileen) Bailey of Irvine, Ky., and Charles (Bonnie) Bailey of Mt. Sterling, Ky.; and numerous nieces and nephews.

He was preceded in death by his parents; one sister and brother-in-law, Mary Ada (Dale) Bailey; and two brothers, Donald Johnson and Howard Johnson.

Per his wishes, cremation rites have been accorded.

A memorial service was held Monday, Nov. 20, at 10:30 a.m. at the First Presbyterian Church in Morris, with the Rev. Dr. Roy Backus officiating.

Inurnment with full military honors was in Abraham Lincoln National Cemetery in Elwood.

Family and friends can sign the guest book, upload photographs or share Lavern’s memorial page online by logging onto

Cremation services and memorial arrangements were by Reeves Funeral Homes LTD. in Morris.

The Gazette-Democrat

112 Lafayette St.
Anna, Illinois 62906
Office Number: (618) 833-2158

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