Robert Philip “Phil” Johnson

January 12, 1938 ‒ July 21, 2017

Mansfield, Ohio

MANSFIELD: Well-respected by family and friends, Philip was easily recognized not only by his stately stature, but, also by his handlebar mustache & endearing smile. He was a man, who was considered by his son, to be his very best friend in life. He was a gentle man, who always spoke with honesty, thought with sincerity & acted with integrity throughout his life.

Robert Philip “Phil” Johnson, age 79, of Mansfield, passed away peacefully on Friday evening, July 21, 2017 at the Wedgewood Estates of Mansfield, after a long courageous battle with cancer. He was born January 12, 1938 to Robert D. & Mary (Ruffner) Johnson of Fredericktown, Ohio.

Growing up on Leedy Road, north of Fredericktown, Philip regularly attended the Palmyra Church of Christ with his family. As a young man, Philip confessed Jesus Christ as Lord and was immersed for the forgiveness of sin.

Philip graduated from Bellville High School. In 1956, he married his high school sweetheart, Marilyn Dudgeon. They purchased their home & moved their family to Mansfield, Ohio in 1962. Philip began working as a truck driver for Montgomery Wards.  He was employed for several trucking companies throughout his driving career, before retiring in 1995 from Weyerhauser in Mt. Vernon, Ohio. He retired as a 35 year member of the Teamsters Union Local 40 in Mansfield, Ohio. For many years, he was also a member of the Mid-Ohio Chapter Lincoln Highway.

Philip had a passion for flying. In 1976, he began flight school & earned his private pilot’s license. He purchased a  Cessna 150, which he flew with great pleasure for many years. He was a member of the Mansfield Aviation Club.

During his retirement years, Philip developed an interest in woodturning. When others simply saw a rough-cut chunk of wood, Philip saw a beautiful wooden bowl, an inlaid rolling pin or an exquisite pepper mill. His skillful hands would take the seasoned wood and begin the process of creating a timeless heirloom of great value. Together, he & Marilyn, traveled the country displaying & selling his beautiful, wooden treasures at various Artisan shows. His colorful, wooden toy tops were always a delight to every child including his great-grandson, Nathaniel. A true craftsman, Philip was a member of the Central Ohio Woodturners Association and the American Association of Woodturners.

In addition to his beloved wife of 60 years, Philip is survived by his son, Jim (Peggy) Johnson of Mt. Vernon, two daughters, Deb (Darrel) Brown of Lexington & Cara (Mike) Carey of Charleston, South Carolina; grandchildren, R. Tyler (Tatiana) Johnson of Norwalk, Connecticut, Christopher & Samuel Johnson of Mt. Vernon,  Allison Brown of  Salt Lake City, Utah, Emily Brown of Columbus, Philip Carey of Washington D.C. & Adrienne Carey of Charleston, South Carolina; step grandchildren, Chris (Amy) Carey of Ponte Vedra, Florida & Colleen (John) Toth of  Medina, Ohio; great-grandson, Nathaniel Johnson; step-great-grandchildren, Quinn & Patrick Carey & John & Cole Toth; a sister  Roxanna (John ) Gatton of Bellville; sister-in-laws, Margaret Cooper of Mansfield, Bonnie Haegele of  Del Mar, California, Louise Dudgeon of Bellville & Margaret Dudgeon of Marion; two brother-in-laws, Melvin Hite of Pataskala & Norman (Anna) Dudgeon of Ashville, North Carolina; along with many good friends, cousins, nieces & nephews.

Philip was preceded in death by his parents & an infant sister, Charmalee Johnson.

Philip Johnson has left a honorable heritage for his family. It is filled with a lifetime of strength, courage & wisdom. His example of strong work ethics, his love, loyalty & dedication to his family & friends, his passions in life & many of his character traits are very evident in the lives of his children & grandchildren.

The Johnson family will receive friends on Tuesday, July 25 2017 from 2-4 p.m & 6-8 p.m. at the Lexington Avenue Snyder Funeral Home, 2553 Lexington Ave., Mansfield, Ohio 44904, where the funeral service will be held on Wednesday at 10:00 a.m.  Friends may also call the hour prior to the service.  Elder John Gatton will officiate. Burial will follow in the Forest Cemetery in Fredericktown, Ohio.

Memorial contributions to Hospice of North Central Ohio may be made through the funeral home.

The Snyder Funeral Home Lexington Avenue is honored to serve the family of Robert Philip Johnson, and condolences may be made to them at

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  • It is with great sadness we learn of Phil’s passing. We’re glad we had time with him and Marilyn on Memorial Day week-end. We will always consider them both honorary “Litt” family members. Sincerely Mike and Marilyn Lamb

  • Our Ruffner family is much richer for having had Big Phil and his family in our lives. The tall, kind, gentle and funny man was always a bright moment at our family reunions. The Johnson family will forever be a part of our lives and so glad we got to see so many of them in Virginia this year. Rest in peace Big Phil, and you’ll get to meet up with little Dorothy Rinker & our Pat Kaempf again in heaven. Sending love and hugs to Marilyn their kids and grandkids.

  • We will miss you Phyl , MAY YOU REST 🙏🏻💕💕💕 for Marylin and her Family’s + all his Friends 🌟 Cecil and Pat Flynn and Family 🌹🌹😘

  • Marilyn, I’ll always remember his chipper soul so early in the morning! Bless you and your family.

  • Marilyn and family, just want to express our sympathy! I’m so glad we got to see you guys on Memorial Day. I will always remember Phillips smile! Thinking of you guys😥 Vickie and Bob Matheny

  • Once in a lifetime does someone make an impact on your life. That person was Flip.
    He was the most kind person I have ever known I will miss our little talks.
    Larry and Carolyn Keckler

  • To Marilyn and all of the Johnson Family
    We want to sent our Deepest Sympathy and special condolences
    in the passing of Phil.
    Peter and Carolyn Haip and family

  • Marilyn, we’re so sorry to hear that tall, energetic, positive, kind-hearted Phil has passed on. He’s leaving behind lots of warm memories for so many people who were fortunate enough to know him. Praying for God’s peace and blessings for you and your family.
    Jim & Becki Watson

  • It is with a heavy heart when I think of this world without Big Phil. He was one of the kindest souls that I have had the pleasure and blessing to know. He will forever remain in my heart. To his family…May God hold you softly in his palm and grant you comfort and strength. Love to you all, Deborah Ruffner

  • Anna and I send our deepest sympathy. We will miss you Uncle Phil. We will cherish our wood bowls and rolling pin that you made. Love to you Aunt Marilyn, Jim, Deb and Cara.

  • Marilyn, Cara, Mike, Darrel and Family,
    I’m sorry we couldn’t join you for Phil’s services. We’re saddened by your loss.
    Phil was one memorable character, a great human being and seemed full of curiousity. It was always a treat to see him. I know his legend will last with all of you.

  • We were befriended by Phil at a family reunion in Prescott, Arizona. Since that reunion we looked forward to meeting again at each Ruffner family gathering. It was so good to meet all his family at this year’s reunion in Luray, VA. Did not think at that time that we would not see him at another reunion. We love you all. Drs. Kail and Rosalyn Ruffner.

  • We just found out or we would have been there. We are so very sorry to hear of your loss.

    Chuck and Linda Hamilton