John Vinyard

Obituary of John Vinyard

John Wesley Vinyard, age 88 of White Hall, died Saturday morning February 10, 2018 at home with his family by his side.  Better known as Johnny, and in some circles as Johnny Two Ponies, he was born January 14, 1930, in Walkerville to Rodney Earl and Dora Wood Vinyard.  He married Paula Vosseller on July 28, 1955, who survives.  Also surviving are a sister, Ella Dunphy of Walkerville; daughters, Clara Ann Hunt (husband, Tim) of White Hall, and Patricia Vinyard of California; 4 grandchildren -- John Randall, Tiffany Randall Elliott, Kevin Pierce, and Jackson Pierce; 6 great-grandchildren; and many cousins, nieces, and nephews. He was preceded in death by his parents, four brothers -- Vernon, Francis, Donald and George, and one sister -- Anna Lucille Vinyard.

Johnny lived the transition from horse-powered farming and kerosene lamps to diesel-powered farm equipment and rural electrification, then on into the age of computers. He attended a one-room schoolhouse, East Brushy School, for first through eighth grades. He began working as a farm hand at age nine. He graduated from White Hall High School in 1948, then worked his mother’s farm until his draft into the US Army. He served in Korea from 1951 to 1953 in an infantry supply company achieving the rank of sergeant.  He returned home to a life of farming, working his mother’s property until 1960 and then the farm he shared with Paula in Hillview for 45 years. In “retirement” from full-time farming he continued working part-time in farming and truck driving, which he loved for the machines, adventures, and people.

Johnny’s interests were broad and deep, among them history, carpentry, fine woodworking, vegetable gardening, bluegrass music, wildlife conservation, machinery, and the workings of the internal combustion engine - an area where his expertise and enthusiasm are unmatched.  He was a member of the Baptist Church since childhood, and he practiced a personal form of spirituality based on the teachings of the Lakota Sioux holy man, Black Elk. He attended many pow wows and was a member of the Thunderbird Society and the Kiowa Gourd Dance Society. He was a member of the American Legion, the VFW, and the Masonic Lodge. Johnny’s kindness, wit, and ready smile along with his boundless generosity of spirit will be missed by all who knew him.

At Johnny’s request, there will be no visitation or funeral. Interment will be performed privately at a later date. There will be a Celebration of Life service at 1:00 p.m. on Friday, February 16 at the Hillview Baptist Church on Smith Street in Hillview, Illinois with military rites immediately following.

Memorial donations may be made to BJC Hospice in Greene County https://www.bjchospice.org/Donate, or to the charity of your choice.   Airsman-Hires Funeral Home in White Hall is in charge of arrangements.