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William Burnell “Wallboard” Johnson, of Hornell

William Burnell “Wallboard” Johnson, of Hornell

HORNELL – William Burnell “Wallboard” Johnson, 92, of 48 Scott St., passed away on Tuesday (May 20, 2014) at Strong Memorial Hospital in Rochester, following a brief illness.

Born in Bradford, Pennsylvania on March 22, 1922, he was a son of Hugh F. and Florence (Disney) Johnson.

Bill grew up in Hornell and was a graduate of St. Ann’s School and later graduated from Hornell High School (class of 1941). He was a veteran of World War II, serving in the U. S. Coast Guard from 1942 – 1945 in the Asia-Pacific Theater of War. He was employed for 42 years at the Erie Railroad, Union Pacific Railroad, the Erie Lackawanna Railroad, retiring as an engineer from the Delaware and Hudson Railroad in 1983.

He was married on December 7, 1946 at St. Ignatius Loyola Church to the former Doris McKee who died on January 27, 1989. Together they owned and operated Terry’s Tavern in Hornell for 13 years.

Bill was one of the original parishioners of St. Ignatius Loyola Church. He was a former member of the Knights of Columbus, the Arthur Cunningham Post of the American Legion, the J. J. Mooney Post of the Veterans of Foreign Wars, the Hornell Association and a 48 year member of the Hornell Elks Lodge
# 364.

Bill had a deep love for his family, and took great joy in all family events and activities. He loved watching his sons and later his grandchildren participate in sports, musical and dance events. He was an avid golfer and a charter member of Twin Hickory Golf Club.

Wallboard also had a deep love for the Hornell Community and a great passion for the history of Hornell. He was one of the oldest & most devoted fan of the Hornell Red Raiders and an avid Kentucky Basketball and Notre Dame Football fan.

He dearly loved his longhaired miniature dachshund Norman, who accompanied him everywhere. He later adopted his ginger cat, Sassy Boy.

In addition to his wife, Doris, Bill was predeceased by ten siblings, Elizabeth Newman, Frances “Saunce” Johnson, Robert Johnson, Fred Johnson, Almeda Perkins, Stella Smith, Eileen Johnson, Leo Johnson, Florence Egger, and Ronald Johnson; his former daughter-in-law, Susan J. Johnson

He is survived by his sons William B. (Gail) Johnson Jr.; Greggery H. (Elizabeth) Johnson; and Jeffery H. (Carla) Johnson, all of Hornell; his dear fiancée of 22 years, Arlene Huff Dennis of Hornell; seven grandchildren, Vanessa (Daniel) Spitulnik, Jaime (Scott) Milanovich, Keegan (Timothy) Manchester, Matthew (Amanda) Johnson, Erica (Joseph) Saliceti, Kyle (Brittney) Johnson, and Kurt Johnson; eleven great-grandchildren, Myer, Vivianne, and JaneEllen Spitulnik; Anna and Katherine Manchester; Macall and Maggie Milanovich; Will, Luke, and Madelynn Johnson and Vincent Saliceti, and many nieces and nephews of the Johnson and McKee Families.

The family of William B. “Wallboard” Johnson will receive friends on Thursday from 3:00 PM – 7:00 PM at the Dagon Funeral Home, 38 Church St., Hornell, NY. A Funeral Service will be held on Friday at 10:00 AM at St. Ann’s Church with Deacon Robert McCormick officiating. Burial will be in St. Mary’s Cemetery.

Bill’s family request that memorial contributions in his name be made to either the Hornell YMCA, Music & Arts Center, 18 Center St., Hornell, NY 14843 or to the Hornell Humane Society, 7649 Industrial Park Road, Hornell, NY 14843. Memorial forms will be available at the Dagon Funeral Home.

To leave an online condolence or print a memorial form, visit

In recognition of Bill’s service to his country during WWII, the American Flag at the Dagon Funeral Home will be flown at half-staff.

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