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Melvin J. Johnson, 84, of Metamora, IL passed away at 3:06 am on Thursday, May 24, 2018 at OSF St. Francis Medical Center in Peoria. He was born on March 21, 1934 in Peoria, IL to Harold F. and Garnet Opal (Krisher) Johnson. He married Pauline Hallor on June 17, 1966 in Peoria, IL.
Surviving are his wife Pauline of Metamora; son Tadd M. (Peggy) Johnson of Peoria; daughter Elizabeth D. (Billy) Vancil of Metamora; grandchildren Madison, Brody, and Allie Vancil and Jacob Johnson. He was preceded in death by his parents and brother Paul Johnson.
Mel graduated from Woodruff High School in Peoria. He is a U.S. Army Veteran serving at Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri and also in the 301st Signal Company in Ft. Monmouth, New Jersey. Mel worked as a test engineer for Caterpillar Tractor Company. In 1965 Mel established the world record for Whitetail Deer with a 70 pound re-curve bow and arrow and the record still stands today. He is the recipient of the Ishi Award and the Sagamore Hill Award. He was a senior member of Pope and Young Club and Compton Bow Hunters. He taught the appreciation of nature, wildlife and the woods, and how to survive and hunt in the wilderness. Mel always said “The lie will always catch up to you” and “if you are on time, you are late, and if you are early, you are on time”. He enjoyed deer and turkey hunting and fishing, movies, automobiles, professional football (Bears and Packers) as well as the hometown Metamora Redbird football team. Mel often gave his perspective, advice and recommendations on life from his common man perspective. Although saddened by his passing, we will always cherish and value the life lessons that we gained from dad’s life’s journey.
Funeral services will be held at 7:00 pm on Wednesday, May 30, 2018 at Mason Funeral Home Metamora Chapel with Reverend Gary Webb officiating. Visitation will be held from 4:00 pm until 7:00 pm on Wednesday at the funeral home prior to his service. Cremation rites will be accorded after services. In lieu of flowers memorials may be given to JDRF (Juvenile Diabetes Research Fund) Illinois Chapter, One North LaSalle Street, Suite 1200, Chicago, IL 60602. Online condolences at www.masonfuneralhomes.com.