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Ronald Rex Johnson

Posted on Tuesday, December 26, 2023 at 10:25 pm

Ronald Rex Johnson, 89, of Centralia, passed away peacefully on Monday, December 18, 2023, at Boone Hospital in Columbia, with his daughters by his side.

Funeral services will be at 2 p.m. on Saturday, December 23, at the First Christian Church in Cainsville, MO. Burial will follow in Glaze Cemetery in Cainsville.

Visitation is Friday from 1-3 p.m. at Arnold Funeral Home in Mexico.

Rex was born on September 28, 1934, in rural Cainsville, the son of Clarence E. and Ruth B. Johnson. They preceded him in death along with a brother, Clarence Junior and wife, Florence Johnson. He was reared on a 500-acre farm and was self-employed in farming from 1951 to 1957. For the next two years, he served with the U.S. 5th Army Engineers.

Mr. Johnson married Marilyn Sue Booth on September 9, 1956. Survivors include a daughter, Lori Ann Powell and husband, James, of Columbia, and daughter, Lynn Denise White and husband, David, also of Columbia; six grandsons, Jordan (Lauren), Austin (Megan), Trent and Grant Powell, Drew (Hannah) and Connor Greaves; a sister, Dixie Seymour and husband, Victor, of Cainsville; and several nephews and nieces.

Mr. Johnson enjoyed golf, gardening, and turkey hunting. He had a special interest in agricultural conservation and care of the land was very important to him.

In 1963, Rex graduated from the University of Missouri “With Distinction” in the field of Agronomy. During the next eight years, he worked for the USDA Soil Conservation Service in Higginsville, Kirksville and Mexico, MO, starting new soil districts in Kirksville and Mexico.

In October 1971, Mr. Johnson was elected assistant vice president of the Commerce Bank of Mexico, MO. In January 1973, he was promoted to vice president and in 1974 was elected senior vice president and secretary of the board, working primarily in agriculture and agri-business loans. In 1983, he was elected to the board and became president and board chairman.

Mr. Johnson was extremely active in civic organizations in Mexico, MO. He received the Jaycees Outstanding Citizen Award in 1976. He was past president of the Jaycee Chapter, past chairman of the Administrative Board of the Mexico United Methodist Church, past president of the Mexico Area Chamber of Commerce, a former member of the Missouri Bankers Association Agri-Business Committee and the Missouri Chamber of Commerce Agri-Business Council. He served as chairman of the Citizen’s Information Committee for a Mexico annexation issue and was past president of the Audrain County Unit of the American Cancer Society.

Rex also served on the Audrain Medical Center Charitable Foundation Board, the Mexico Industrial Park Board, the Mexico Planning and Zoning Commission and held memberships in the Rotary Club, Lions Club and the Mexico Country Club.

In 1988, Mr. Johnson and his wife, Marilyn, moved to Columbus, Kansas after purchasing an interest in Columbus Bancshares, a bank holding company. He worked at Columbus State Bank until retirement. In Columbus, Rex was president of the Chamber of Commerce, president of the Columbus Country Club and chairman of the United Methodist Church Board. He was a member of Columbus Housing, Inc., Columbus Economic Development Committee, Lions Club, and the Kansas Calvary, a state economic development group. Mr. Johnson retired from Columbus State Bank on Dec. 29, 1995.

In 1998, he and Marilyn moved to Centralia, MO, to be close to their family and friends in the area. Shortly after moving to Missouri, they joined the First Christian Church of Centralia where he served as Chairman of the Stewardship Committee, a diaconate, and a member of the church board.

Memorials, if desired, may be given to Centralia First Christian Church, 229 South Rollins Street, Centralia, MO 65240.

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