“What an incredible life lived for Christ,” adjunct math professor at Olivet Dr. David Johnson said about his late son, Kenneth Johnson, who was the chair of the Department of Engineering.
On Saturday, Sept. 24, David and his wife, Jerri Johnson, signed copies of their book, “An Unexpected Finish Line Leaves a Unique Legacy,” at Love Christian Center in Kankakee. The book is a biography of Kenneth, from birth to death.
David and Jerri were pleased with the success of the book signing. They sold all of the copies that they had brought, as well as all of the copies that were in stock at Love Christian Center.
“It was a pleasure to meet them and see what their book was all about,” owner of Love Christian Center Bob Cross said. “There is no better way to promote a book than by telling the story yourself.”
Many people have described the book as “inspiring” and “compelling.” Even people who did not know Kenneth have come to know him better after reading it.
David and Jerri hope that after reading their book, people will want to take action in their own lives, just as Kenneth did. Under his leadership, Olivet’s Engineering Department experienced an increase in student enrollment. In 2013, he led a team of students to Swaziland to build a water irrigation system for a community in need.
“I hope that people see that anyone can lead a great legacy and be influential to others,” Jerri said. “Ken was a real giver.”
David and Jerri made appearances at seven different family camps over the summer, signing copies of their book. They brought 70 copies with them and sold around a half dozen to a dozen copies at each stop. They traveled to Indiana, Michigan, New Jersey and Pennsylvania.
On Nov. 4, they will travel to Traverse City, Michigan, for a special book signing at the Ice Cycle Expo where 5,000 people are expected to attend. The Expo is scheduled the day before the Bell’s Iceman Cometh Challenge that their son participated in 2013. The mountain bike race starts in downtown Kalkaska, Michigan, and finishes thirty miles later in Traverse City, Michigan.
“The gentleman who rode with [Kenneth], wrote about what happened during the race,” Jerri said. “That was an excellent chapter.”
The community of ONU will get a chance to meet David and Jerri and get a copy of their book signed during Homecoming Weekend on Friday, Oct. 28 and Saturday, Oct. 29. The signing will take place in the Ludwig Center, right outside of Hammes Bookstore.
“We hope to put the money towards mission trips for engineering students,” David said. “We can do things that our son would have done if he were here.”
Danielle Snuckel, Assistant Life & Culture Editor