Guilford N. "Guil" Johnson

Birth Date: 
Saturday, November 4, 1950
Date of Passing: 
Wednesday, May 5, 2021

WOOSTER – Guilford N. “Guil” / “Dube” Johnson, 70, of Wooster passed away on Wednesday, May 5, 2021 at Ohio’s Hospice LifeCare in Wooster.

He was born November 4, 1950 in Wooster the son of Guilford G. and Helen Alexander Johnson. Attended nursery school at the College of Wooster, Layton, Wayne and Edgewood, a subsequent Wooster High (’69) grad excelling academically, socially and athletically, followed by attendance at Northwestern in Chicago and Prescott in Arizona.

Loafers or Chukka’s, worsted tweeds, paisley or Madras, bib overalls, cut-offs, cords narrow or wide whale: from his carefree teenage years to midlife, Guil was ever a person of style and taste.

But challenges were to come, and come they did. At 17 a horrific automobile accident, at 20 late adolescent onset schizophrenia, at 58 surgery, chemo- and radiation therapy for throat cancer, only to rebound from it for 12 years post diagnosis. Ultimately COPD and… and…

In spite of it all, Guil fearless, carved out a life for himself, lived big. Kind and thoughtful, or loud, obstreperous and difficult, whatever the case, he made an indelible impression.

His passions ran the gamut from Tolstoy and Kerouac to Nietzsche and Hesse, from Neil, Jimi, Janice and Janet to Madonna and Bruce. Early on he relished writing for his own enjoyment and performing at the Needle’s Eye. Later on, it was painting, still playing a 6–string, a photoshoot at Leroy’s bridge. Finally, ever the socialite Guil enjoyed at first walking - at times great distances - to visit a broad circle of friends and then - with declining health – it narrowed to the small remnant at Hill Top.

Surviving is a brother Peter (Laurie) Johnson and a sister Andrea (Bill) Bostancic both of Wooster; nephews Emmanuel (Kati) Johnson, Mark (Mary) Johnson, Robert Johnson and a niece Abigail (Jeremy) Clevenger and multiple great-nieces and nephews.

He was preceded in death by his parents.

There will be no calling hours. Private funeral service will be held May 9 at the McIntire, Bradham & Sleek Funeral Home with Pastor Jacob Dodson officiating.  Burial will follow in the Wooster Cemetery. A celebration of Guil’s life will be held at a later date, including his favorite - Coccia House pizza: sausage, pepperoni and anchovies.

The family extends their sincere thanks and expressions of gratitude to the countless mental health physicians who cared for him throughout his life, and most recently to Wooster Hospital’s ER department, TCU unit and LifeCare Hospice who always respected his dignity and rendered compassionate comfort and care in his final days.


No calling hours


Private services will be held


So sadden to hear of Guils passing. Such a lovely man. My prayers and condolences
to his family.

Pete, Our sincere condolences to you and your family. May your many memories bring you comfort and peace and keep a smile on your hearts.

Great memories of Guil...Cub Scouts to backpacking in the Rockies at Lake Nanita in Colorado.

I am sorry to hear of Guils passing. I enjoyed getting to know Guil in my brief yearly visits. He was always kind and I enjoyed are brief chats. Prayers to the family as you celebrate his life.

Pete & family,
SO sorry to learn of your brother's passing. Please accept my sympathy.

WOW Such a sad day. So sorry to hear. The words brought back some memories. From Nursery School to Graduation. I remember and Leroy's Bridge--I have not heard that for a while. PLEASE my thoughts are with him

My condolences to your family and all friends Guil was a great guy in my high school graduating class.

Being a friend of Pete’s, I got to know Guill. Great times we all had growing up and attending Wooster High School. My condolences to the Johnson family.

You all have my sincere condolences in Guil's passing. His obituary captured Guil perfectly - larger than life personality with a smile that lit up a room. Even after his accident, his personality was still there. May you find comfort in good memories throughout the years.

I'm so sorry to hear about Guil"s passing. I have a lot of good memories of Guil at Edgewood and WHS. RIP Guil.

Dear Pete and Laurie and family. We're so sorry that Guil's life has ended. What a guy! We met him when my brother Jimmy Shie and I bought the Grisetti house on E North Street and turned it into a folk music mecca for Wooster, as well as a tiny commune. Guil was one of the first to come and play with us about every Friday night. He and Mark Lang and somebody else and I started a tiny band called Positively North Street, a play on a Dylan title, and we even played out at the first Turkey Trot Concerts at the Grange Hall in Madisonburg! Jimmy remembers how much Guil loved to play and sing Neil Young songs. Much later, when Guil got into painting, he used to call me, and I'd give him advice on where to buy his art supplies. I bet his paintings are really cool! They have to be! That cat was stylin'! We're really sorry he's gone! He and I were born about 2 months apart, and I guess we didn't even know each other's birthdays. 1950 is a Tiger year, the white, metal tiger, in particular. Just thought I'd tell you that. Long live Guil Johnson! <3 Jimmy and me, Susi

Guil was my friend in our apartment building for as long as I’ve lived here (since 1995). We shared books on artists - Kandinsky was a favorite, those bold colors much like Guil’s paintings -
and then conversation and books and then just being neighbors. Guil was a lovely soul , kind in every way, and courageous without ostentation. I will miss you, my friend. And my heartfelt condolences to Guil’s family who I know are missing you more than words can say. We all are.

In gratitude and celebration for Guil’s life, sending love, peace and joy to his spirit, Andrea and Peter.

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