Wayne Johnson formerly of Wallowa died Aug. 20, 2015 in Walla Walla, Wash. Wayne was born April 13, 1929 in Wallowa to Charlie and Edith Bechtel Johnson. The oldest of three children Wayne was raised in Elgin and graduated from Elgin High School in 1947. Wayne worked for Fred Davis in his grocery store as a teen-ager and continued there full time after graduation.
On Dec 12, 1953 Wayne married Karrel Stowe in Elgin. He was Fire Chief of the Elgin Fire Dept. and very actively involved with the Elgin Stampeders. In 1956 they moved to Prairie City and opened “Wayne and Karrels Food Market.” A few years later they moved their young family to Wallowa where Wayne started work at Shells General Store as meat cutter and grocery manager. Wayne became a partner with Stan and Tory Shell in Shell Mercantile Inc. and eventually he and Karrel became sole owners of the store. In 1996 Wayne retired from the business.
Wayne was chairman of the Wallowa School Board for many years. He was a 4-H leader, a member of the Wallowa Volunteer Fire Department, and active In Search and Rescue. He was a member of the Elks Lodge, Masonic Lodge, and the Eagles Lodge. Wayne was a mentor to many young people in the community, giving them work opportunities and guidance. He enjoyed raising sheep and cattle, Arabian horses, and ornamental pheasants and game birds on the family ranch in rural Wallowa. He loved to hunt and fish, and enjoyed spending time in the outdoors.
Wayne and Karrel were honored as Grand Marshals of the Elgin Stampede Parade, and in 2012 he was inducted into the “Legends of the Stampede” an honor he was very proud of.
Wayne was preceded in death by his parents Charlie and Edith, his brother Wade Johnson, and his wife Karrel. He is survived by his sister Dolores Smith of Wallowa, son and daughter-in-law Kerry and Darlene Johnson of Wallowa, daughters Karin Nix of Union and Kristi Johnson of Umatilla, and son and daughter-in-law Karl and Guinevere Johnson of Bend. Two grandchildren Sage and Sterling Nix, great-grandson Liam Ramirez, son-in-law Chris Nix, one niece, two nephews and many cousins.
Wayne spent the last several years traveling to Texas and Hawaii with his companion Susan Hartleip. He currently lived in College Place, Wash.
Funeral Services were held Aug. 27 at Bramlet Cemetery in Wallowa. Bollman Funeral Home entrusted with arrangements.