Lyle ‘Swish’ Johnson
Lyle “Swish” Johnson, 78, of St. Petersburg, Fla., formerly of Elburn, passed away on Oct. 11, 2013, surrounded by the love and care of his family.
He was born Aug. 18, 1935, in Aurora, Ill., the son of Gladys Johnson Scalet. Lyle grew up in the Fox Valley and graduated from Batavia High School with the class of ’53.
A lover of baseball, Lyle played for Rajah’s Colts from 1951-54. In 1958, he tried out for the Phillies but was told to gain weight and try again. However, before he could try again, Uncle Sam called and Lyle became a member of another team: the U.S. Army. He served from June 1958 to June 1960 with the rank of PFC Marksman.
Lyle met Barb Breese on a blind date on Nov. 23, 1962. The date was “blind,” but love was not, and a short time later, on Feb. 23, 1963, they were united in marriage. They happily celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary earlier this year.
They made their home in Wasco and St. Charles before settling in Elburn in 1976. While living in Elburn, Lyle and Barb raised their children, became involved in the life of the community and made a million memories. In 2002, they left Elburn to make their home in Florida.
Lyle worked as a bartender for a number of years at Denny’s Den, Wasco Inn and Ruby’s Half Moon. Until 1968, he worked on dairy farms in Batavia, Sycamore and Wasco. From 1968 to 1975, he was employed at the St. Charles Youth Center, then in 1977 went to work at Hines Lumber Company in St. Charles, where he remained for the next 21 years.
Lyle was employed by Conte Excavating, after retiring from Hines, until he and Barb moved to Largo, Fla., where they spent the next five years living next to both of Barb’s brothers and their wives.
He was a member of the Teamsters Local No. 330, and in the earlier years he coached Wasco Little League Baseball.
A true blue Cowboys fan, Lyle was also a die-hard Cub fan. He loved a good game of poker, especially with his sons, son-in-law, and his cousin George Wall and family.
He enjoyed golf, reading a good western, a trip to the boat with Jeff and Steph, talking sports with the boys and having a beer with friends. Butter Pecan ice cream with butterscotch topping and strawberry candies were his favorite “sweet” treats.
He enjoyed dinner and cards with Barb and his sister-in-law Marge. In more recent years, he also enjoyed traveling with his daughter and son-in-law. He will forever be missed and never forgotten.
Lyle is survived by his loving wife, Barb of St. Petersburg; children, Paul (Janis) Johnson, of New York, N.Y., Peggy (David) Stover, of Maple Park, Jeff (Steph) Johnson of Elgin, Ill., Dan Johnson of DeKalb, and Ed (Tammi) Johnson of Woodstock, Ill.; seven grandchildren, Joe Johnson, Kelsey Johnson, Lance Johnson, Shana Johnson, Gabe Curl, Zak Johnson and Ayden Johnson; two step-grandchildren, Tim (Susan) Stover and Paul (Alvina) Stover; one step-great-granddaughter, Cadence Stover; his sister, Ann (Bill) Boden of Friendship, Wis.; and his sisters-in-law, Marge Breese of St. Petersburg, and Kathy Carlson of Monticello, Minn.; as well as many nieces, nephews, cousins and a countryside of friends.
He is preceded in death by his mother and step-father, Gladys and Emil Scalet; his daughter-in-law, Kathy Johnson; his brother-in-law, Jerry Breese; his brother and sister-in-law, Jim and Helen Breese; and one niece, Lori Breese.
A memorial visitation will take place Sunday afternoon, Oct. 27, from 2 to 5 p.m. at Conley Funeral Home, 116 W. Pierce St., Elburn. A eulogy will take place at 4:30 p.m.
In lieu of flowers, a memorial has been established in his name to benefit Suncoast Hospice (www.thehospice.org/donate) or the Wounded Warrior Project. Checks may be made to the “Lyle Johnson Memorial” and mailed in care of P.O. Box 66 Elburn, IL 60119. Tributes and memories may be forwarded to the family at the same address or on the web at www.conleycare.com.