Phyllis Z. (Spohn) Johnson

August 08, 1927 ‒ March 31, 2017

Butler, Ohio

BUTLER: Phyllis Zeruiah Spohn Johnson, 89, a lifelong resident of Butler passed away after a brief illness at her home surrounded by family on March 31, 2017.  Phyllis was born August 8, 1927 to Leroy and Ethel (Berry) Spohn, she is a direct descendant of Martin Spohn, one of the founders of Spohntown (now Butler) and lived on Liberty Hill her entire life.

Phyllis graduated from Butler High School in 1945 and married her sweetheart, Glenn Johnson on November 24th, 1945, they celebrated 68 years of marriage just before his death in 2013.  She was a member of Three Crosses Methodist Church in Butler.

Phyllis was as unique as her middle name, a devoted wife, mother and grandmother.  Her family was blessed with many heartfelt memories of their time spent together.

Phyllis began her working career in 1954 as the co-owner with her husband of Johnson TV and Appliance.  She would be seen all over the area driving her red Ford pick-up, armed with her tool box and tube tester at all hours fixing area resident’s televisions and making lifelong friends along the way.

Her knowledge of electronics carried over to another career at Gorman Rupp in Bellville building circuit boards until the birth of her daughter when she and her husband began Johnson Electronics, employing many area residents, until the late-1990s. She was also employed by Clear Fork Valley Schools at Butler and Bellville for 18 years where she taught electronics, was a study hall supervisor, and then a lunch lady.

Not one to be idle during retirement she also served multiple terms on Butler Village Council, helped to create the Clear Fork Nutrition Program, and also worked in the deli at Hitchman’s Market in Butler.  For many years she was a correspondent for the Bellville Star where she covered local news, she was the author of a column called “Back in Butler” where she retold many stories from her youth and the history of Butler.  She was very proud of her home town which was evident in her writings.

Phyllis was a dedicated Republican, serving on the central committee for 52 years.  She was also a poll worker and presiding judge.  She was also Glenn’s partner on the family farm and always had a big garden.

Left to cherish her memory are sons, Gary (Carolyn) Johnson of Ashland, Randy (Karen) Johnson of Butler, a daughter Phyllis Kathleene (Mike) also of Butler.  She is also survived by 18 grandchildren, Michelle (Ron) Crawford, Ed Johnson, Cindy Ward, Michelle Bolles, Betty Johnson, Dave (Jill) Bolles, Jammie (Pablo) Zamora, Julie (Nate) Keipper, Gary Jr. (Melissa) Johnson, Nina (Chris) Klingler, Jeremy Yankovich, Joseph Wurth, Hazel (Joe) Williams, Phyllis Ashley Wurth, Andrew Wurth, Samuel (Whitney) Bradford, Jonathon (Gabriela) Bradford, Daniel (Shannon) Bradford, 45 great grandchildren, and 18 great-great grandchildren, numerous nephews and nieces, and special friends and caretakers Madalyn Rogers and Sandra Miller.

Besides her husband she was also preceded in death by her sisters Myrna Johnson, Ethel Pauline Walters Daum, Donna Jean Nethero Gaubetz, and a brother Lawrence Thomas Spohn, grandchildren Rob Johnson, triplets Israel, Heidi, and Glenda Johnson.

Her family will receive friends Thursday, April 6, 2017 from 2-4 pm and 6-8 pm in the Bellville Snyder Funeral Home.  Visitation will continue Friday, April 7, at Three Crosses A United Methodist Fellowship (12 Cleveland Street, Butler, Ohio 44822) from 10-11 am where funeral services will begin at 11 am.  Pastor Ken Kinley and Rev. Dr. Michael V. Stine will officiate.  Burial will follow in Bellville Cemetery.

In lieu of flowers the family requests that donations be made to the Clear Fork Nutrition Program, or Worthington Township Fire Department.

To view Phyllis’ tribute video or to leave her family a message of condolence please

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  • I remember phyills as being my lunch lady when I was little. She was a very nice lady. I am sure she will be missed a lot.

  • Sorry to hear of her passing. Our condolences to the entire family.
    Steve Dall for the entire Dall family.

  • Gary, Randy, Kathy & family–So very sorry to learn of your Mom’s passing. Our love & many prayers go out to you as we know what a difficult time this is for you all. One of the last of my good neighbors & good childhood memories from Liberty!Love in Christ, Stan & Kitty (Myers) Black

  • A wonderful, intelligent, strong, caring lady with a beautiful heart for the community of Butler. She was special to this village and will be remembered for all her accomplishments throughout the years. Love you Phyllis!!!
    God Bless
    Stephanie & Jay Crow

  • Dear Johnson Family,
    So So sorry to hear about the passing of Phyllis. I was one of the nurses that visited Glenn and Phyllis over the years and fell in love with them. I will miss her so much she became a friend as well as a patient. She was a wonderful lady and we shared many wonderful talks and I loved her visits. I really loved your tribute you put together for her. I will keep you all in my prayers and thoughts. God Bless you all.
    Norma (Haley) Hopkins Nurse

  • May the God of all Peace touch your heart, mind and soul as you reflect on the beautiful life your dear Phyllis lived. I am grateful for Phyllis and to your family.

  • Gary, Randy, Kathy & family: I’m sorry for your loss. It’s hard to lose a parent. Your Mom was a very special lady and will be missed.