Funeral services for 91 year old Willard Woodrow Johnson of Baxter, will be held Sunday at 1 p.m. in the Baxter Chapel of Hooper-Huddleston & Horner Funeral Home with eulogies provided by his family. Burial will follow in Odd Fellows Cemetery.
Johnson died Thursday morning in NHC of Sparta.
Johnson was born in Baxter to the late William Louis and Mary Lula Johnson Sr.
After serving in the US Army Air Corps during World War II, Willard along with his brother J. T. Johnson started Johnson’s Nursery in Baxter in 1946. Their father, the late W. L. Johnson started the Baxter Nursery in 1918. In 1949, the Johnson brothers built the first glass-covered green house between Nashville and Knoxville. They were the first in the state to root Japanese Hollies and Taxus yews in a greenhouse. Willard’s son, Chuck Johnson started his retail center in Cookeville in 1968. Chuck with his wife Sarah and two sons now operate the Johnson Nursery and Garden Center in Cookeville.
In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by a daughter, Frances Palk; two sisters, Florence Martin and Elizabeth Cullen; and five brothers, Dr .Louis Johnson, Jr., Hubert Johnson, Bernice Johnson, John Thomas Johnson Sr., and Harold Johnson.
Survivors include his wife of 73 years Agnes Yates Johnson (whom he married May 28, 1940 in Albany, Kentucky); son and daughter-in-law, Charles “Chuck” W. and Sarah Johnson of Cookeville; two daughters and sons-in-law, Betty and Dr. Ray Troop of McMinnville and Louise and Richard Charles of Cookeville; five grandchildren, Jennifer( Dr. John) Little of Knoxville, Charlie (Rebecca) Johnson, David (Susan) Johnson all of Cookeville, Russell ( Michelle) Palk, and Beth Palk all of Franklin, TN; 12-great grandchildren, John Grant, Matthew, and Sarah Frances Little; Conner and Cooper Palk; Callaway, and Abbey Palk; Leah and Foster Johnson; Anna, Emma, and Will Johnson.
Johnson’s family will receive friends Saturday from 5 p.m. until 8 p.m. and Sunday from 11 a.m. until service time at the Baxter Chapel.
The Baxter Chapel of Hooper-Huddleston & Horner Funeral Home is in charge of the arrangements.