Rodney E. Johnson
MIDDLEFIELD — Rodney E. Johnson died at his Middlefield home on February 14, 2014.
He was born on November 6, 1928, in Fulton, New York, the eldest of two sons of Erwin R. Johnson and Kittie Ferguson Johnson. Mr. Johnson graduated from Fulton High School in 1947 before going on to graduate from State University College at Oswego, and later, doing graduate work at Oswego, Oneonta, Saint Rose, Albany and Boston University.
After Rod married his high school sweetheart, Elizabeth Jeanne Walker, they moved to the old Sutton Farmhouse at Sutton’s Corners in Oswego County. They restored the house in the 1950s, naming it Mulberry Hill. For a short time, he was curator of Fort Ontario and they lived in the former lighthouse keeper’s cottage across from the fort.
In 1963, they relocated to the hamlet of Middlefield, near Cooperstown. The couple worked to preserve and restore several early Middlefield buildings, most importantly, their 18th century home, the Joshua Pinney Tavern, well-known for its beautiful wall murals featured in several authoritative books on this topic.
During the span of his 20 year teaching career he taught History, English and Special Education. He is fondly remembered by many former students who were inspired by his high standards.
He was ordained in the United Methodist Church in 1969. For 37 years, he pastored United Methodist churches which included McDonough, Preston, Willet, West Davenport, Davenport, Emmons and Cooperstown Junction. For several years, he held vespers for the scouts at Crumhorn Mountain Boy Scout Camp.
In 1981, following their passion for preservation, the Johnsons opened Leatherstocking Realty, which specialized in the pairing of historic houses with enthusiastic preservationists.
Mr. Johnson was a past president of Otsego-Delaware Board of Realtors, twice served as chair for the Otsego-Delaware Multiple Listing service, and was once Director of the Real Estate Board as well.