Oliver “Bud” Delano Johnson, 82, of Kewanee, died Saturday, April 29, 2023, at Hillcrest Home, Geneseo. Bud was born September 21, 1940, in Gadsden, Alabama, the son of Oliver S. and Ruby Ora Lee (Owen) Johnson. Bud graduated from Etowah County High School in Attalla, Alabama, graduating with the class of 1958.
He entered active duty in 1958 in the US Navy Reserve as a part of the commissioning crew of the USS independence CVA-62 Aircraft Carrier. He served as a Personal Seaman in the information and education office until returning to civilian life in 1960.
After returning to civilian life, he went to work for the McCory McClellan variety stores chain as a manager trainee and trouble shooter in many cities and states throughout the south and Midwest. Bud came to Kewanee in November 1964 as a manager of McClellan’s on 2nd Street. This is where he met the love of his life, Katie.
In 1967 he left the McClellan store and, in that year, went into business at the Johnson Wethersfield Shell Service on Tenney Street. While there he and Katie became interested in the movies. First, Katie as manager of the Wanee Cinemas in 1976 and later that year they also began as managers of the Wanee downtown, the Wanee Drive-in Theater and the Midland Plaza Cinemas. In 1982, he sold the Shell Station, but he stayed as a manager of the theaters. He went to work as a facility manager for Schwan’s Ice Cream in 1982 until the drive-in and Midland were closed in 1984. At that time Bud still worked as facility manager at Schwan’s, Katie moved to Apollo Cinemas in Princeton, IL and Bud managed the Wanee in Kewanee. In 2000, Bud and Katie bought both Apollo and Wanee Theater from GKC Theaters. In 2005, Bud retired from Schwan’s Ice Cream Co. and both remained in the Theaters. In that same year, they opened Katie’s House of Steaks in Kewanee, until 2009, when Katie could no longer drive to Princeton, they sold both the Apollo Theater and Katie’s House of Steaks. Bud and Katie remained as owners/managers of the Wanee until Bud lost the love of his life, Katie, on January 8, 2018. Bud stayed as the owner/manager until his death. Bud was named the Outstanding Citizen of the Year in March 2023. He was also the Hog Days Grand Marshall in 2021.
Bud is survived by one daughter, Christina (Peter) Tanzillo, Kewanee; one son, Michael Quagliano, Chicago, IL; seven grandchildren, Michele, Amy, Trisha, Amber, Lucas, Quinton, and Riley; ten great-grandchildren, Maddux, Rocco, Luca, Freddie, Bianca, Gianna, Greyson, Simone, Declan, and Hunter; sister, Shirley McCreless, Huntsville, Alabama; brother-in-law, Albert (Karen) DeConinck, Kewanee; several nieces and nephews; and a daughter-in-law, Paula Johnson. He was preceded in death by his parents; wife; and son, Nick Johnson.
Visitation will be from 5:00 – 8:00 pm, Friday, May 5, 2023, at the Golnick-Schueneman Funeral Home. Funeral Services will be at 10:00 am, Saturday, May 6, 2023, at the funeral home. Burial will be in Mount Olivet Cemetery. Military Rites will be accorded by the Kewanee Veterans Council. Memorials may be made to the family for a memorial to be established. Please leave an online condolence for Bud’s family at www.golnickschuenemanfh.com.
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To the family for a memorial to be established