The University of North Carolina Herbarium
(NCU) has catalogued only a handful of specimens collected by W. C. Johnson.
With only about 10% of our collection catalogued, it is possible that more
specimens collected by him will be found.
for July 22, 2006.
– Dr. Wiley C. Johnson, Jr., 76, of Auburn, passed away Thursday, July
Funeral services will be held at 10 a.m. Monday
at the First Presbyterian Church of Auburn with Dr. Frank Covington
officiating. Visitation will be held from 4 to 6 p.m. Sunday at Jeffcoat-Trant Funeral Home in Opelika. Burial will be at
2 p.m. Tuesday at the Johnson family plot at Locust Field Cemetery in Canton,
Dr. Johnson was born on Jan. 1, 1930, in
Asheville, N.C., and was the son of Wiley C. Johnson Sr., M.D.., and Ora Matthews Johnson.
He was raised in Canton, N.C. He was a graduate
of Canton High School, Wake Forest University and North Carolina State
University. He received his Ph.D at Cornell
University, where he was trained as an agronomist and plant breeder.
In 1957, Dr. Johnson joined the faculty at
Auburn University in the Agronomy and Soils Department and worked in that
position until his retirement as professor in 1992. During his distinguished
35-year career, Dr. Johnson conducted research as a forage legume breeder,
general agronomic research on forage legumes and managed the Alabama Official
Variety Testing Program. He excelled as a teacher and regularly taught
courses each quarter during his career. He was a highly respected faculty
advisor for agronomy undergraduate majors. He served on numerous graduate
student committees and as faculty advisor for the Auburn Ag Ambassadors. Dr.
Johnson was a long-time member of the American Society of Agronomy, Crop
Science Society of America and the Southern Pasture and Forage Crop
Improvement Group and was chosen for membership in the agricultural honorary
society, Gamma Sigma Delta.
Dr. Johnson received numerous college and
university awards for his dedicated teaching and student advisory programs;
Dean’s Award for Teaching Excellence (1989), SGA Outstanding Faculty for the
College of Agriculture (1989, 1990), and the Agronomy Club Outstanding
Teacher Award (1982, 1987, 1990 and 1992). He was personally gratified by
watching his former students excel in their own professional careers. Since
his retirement from Auburn University, Dr. Johnson has been Director of
Research and Plant Breeder for Whitetail Institute of North America in Pintlala, Ala. He was responsible for the development of
the company’s forage legumes planted by sportsmen throughout the continent.
Throughout his life, Dr. Johnson devoted
countless hours to serving the Lord though the First Presbyterian Church and
community service. Dr. Johnson and his family have been faithful members of
the First Presbyterian Church of Auburn for 49 years. He served many years as
elder, Sunday school teacher, treasurer and in numerous other capacities. He
was a 40-year member and past president to the Auburn Lion’s Club. His
numerous duties included decades of work at Auburn football, basketball and
baseball games, along with yearly light bulb and broom sales. He was awarded
the Melvin Jones Fellow Award in 2003 for outstanding service to Lions
International. Dr. Johnson was active for many years in the Boy Scouts of America,
serving as assistant scoutmaster of Troop 15, committee member, merit badge
counselor and adult leader. He was very active in PTA and was instrumental in
organizing the PTA’s Annual Halloween Carnival — a major fundraiser for the
PTA for many years. When his sons were young, he coached Little League
baseball for several years. In recent years, Dr. Johnson volunteered at the
Auburn Food Bank and their outreach effort, the Brown Bag Program.
Dr. Johnson is survived by his wife of 54 years,
Elizabeth Calvin Johnson; his sons, Dr. Wiley Carroll Johnson III (June) of
Tifton; Dr. Calvin M. Johnson (Mary) of Auburn; grandchildren, Frances
Elizabeth Johnson, Gardner Calvin Johnson, Anna Murry
Johnson and Sara Carroll Johnson; and his sister, Jane Johnson Bird and her
husband Dr. W.T. Bird of Waynesville, N.C.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests that
memorial donations be made to the First Presbyterian Church of Auburn
Building Fund or to the Auburn Food Bank.
Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.