Onita D. Johnson, 88

Onita D. Johnson, 88, North Manchester, died at 11:30 a.m. Sunday, Jan. 10, 2016, in Timbercrest Healthcare Center, North Manchester. 

She was born Aug. 9, 1927, in North Manchester, to Clure and Linnie (Hallgarth) Jerew. On Aug. 21, 1949, she married Lewis "Louie" E. Johnson.  He died Oct. 29, 2001.

Graduated Central High School, North Manchester, in 1945, Onita had an infectious zest for life, described by most as spunky and energetic.  As a young girl, she developed a love for music and athletics that she carried her entire life. 

She graduated from Manchester University in 1949 with degrees in usic, physical Education and English, later receiving a master’s degree in physical Education from the University of Saint Francis in Fort Wayne.  Onita had a passion for teaching.  After beginning her career at Sidney and Akron high schools, she spent 30 years as a professor and later Chair of the Physical Education Department at Manchester University.   

She was dedicated to professionalizing physical education, health and recreation in the classroom, gymnasium and playing field.  Her students learned by example through Onita’s integrity, genuineness and servanthood.
Onita’s first commitment was to her family where they enjoyed camping and other outdoor activities.  She was an outstanding seamstress and loved sewing for her daughters and later for her grandchildren. She loved to give to others and in her later years, enjoyed making treats for Timbercrest staff on a routine basis. 

Known for her hugs, Onita brought smiles to the faces of those around her. She was a member of Manchester Church of the Brethren, North Manchester. 

She is survived by two daughters, Nancy Moore, Fort Wayne, and Judy (Mark) Dudeck, Wilmington, N.C. and four grandchildren. 

One brother and two sisters are deceased. 

Family and friends may call Jan. 23, 2016, from 1-3 p.m. at Manchester Church of the Brethren, 1306 N. Beckley Street, North ManchesteN.  Services will be Jan. 23, 2016, at 3 p.m. at Manchester Church of the Brethren, 1306 N. Beckley St., North Manchester.  Pastor Kurt Borgmann will officiate. 

For those who wish to honor the memory of Onita Johnson, memorial contributions may be made to  Manchester University, 604 E. College Ave., North Manchester, IN 46962 (please put a note on check “In Memory of Onita Johnson”). 

Arrangements were by McKee Mortuary, North Manchester. Condolence may be sent at


Posted on 2016 Jan 12