Kenneth Wayne Johnson died Saturday, July 30, 2022. Wayne was larger than life in the best possible way. His early life was similar to that of so many rural kids in post-depression Missouri. Yet Wayne became a truly great person, superman in overalls (he hid the cape somewhere and we are still searching for it). He was civic-minded, helping to work the chewing gum stand at the Miller Fall Festival or to man the dunking booth, where his shouts of “rag-arm!” at wayward pitches still echo from the bricks of the Lions Club bingo hall. He was a volunteer fireman who risked himself to help others, once charging into a burning house, only to have the floor collapse beneath him. He emerged, his cape singed, but intact.

Wayne had three careers. The first was as an installer for Western Electric Company. His work ethic was legendary. His second was as a school bus driver, where his quick thinking minimized the impact from a speeding semi. There were no major injuries, even though school bus seats were strewn across the highway. His third career was racing. He crewed for his brother Charley from 1963-1970 and raced with his nephews, Rayme and Robbie, along with Charley, from 1990-1997. In 1998, he became a crewman for Brett Bodine in the NASCAR Cup Series. He would go on to work for Dale Earnhardt Incorporated, Michael Waltrip Racing, Roush Racing, and Joe Gibbs Racing. With Gibbs he was part of a Cup Championship winning team. When he wasn‘t working as a crewman, he was a motorcoach driver for Carl Edwards. He was loved and respected throughout the garage.

Wayne is survived by his partner in kindness, occasional verbal sparring partner, and wife, Rosemary Johnson, three biological children, Aaron and his wife Maureen of Pine, Colorado, Amy Taylor and her husband Justin, and Joe Johnson and his wife Beth of Miller, 8 grandchildren, numerous foster children, hundreds of people who were fortunate enough to call him friend, and thousands whose lives were impacted by his generosity and good will.

See full obituary at the Morris-Leiman-Mosher website.

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