Joseph Johnson, 83

Joseph M. ‘Joe’ Johnson, a resident of Little Falls, passed away April 29,  in Little Falls.

A Memorial Service for Joe Johnson was held  Wednesday, May 2, at Bethel Lutheran Church in Little Falls with the Rev. Robert Munneke and Joe’s nephew, the Rev. Daniel Johnson officiating.  Burial was in the Minnesota State Veterans Cemetery.

Joseph  ‘Joe’ Johnson was born Nov. 22, 1928, in Little Falls,  the son of the late Joseph and Hulda (Gustavson) Johnson.  Shortly after, the family moved to a farm near Freedhem, MN where Joe attended country school.  In 1937, they moved to Bremerton, Wash., for one year after which they returned to Minnesota and lived on a farm south of Little Falls.  Joe graduated from Little Falls High School in 1948 and joined the U.S. Navy.  He was honorably discharged from the U.S. Navy in 1949 and returned to Little Falls to live with his brother, Carl and sister, Doris.  Joe was united in marriage to Margaret A. Hansmeyer, Oct. 30, 1954, at St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Long Prairie.  He worked at various jobs including at the Coast to Coast Store and C. Buck Furniture in Little Falls.  In 1958, he began the Johnson Insurance Agency in Little Falls, working as an insurance agent until retiring in October, 1980.  Joe then worked part-time preparing tax returns until completely retiring in 1989.  Joe loved music, both instrumental and singing.  He played with the Little Falls city band, and sang with the Little Falls choir as well as the Bethel Lutheran Choir. Joe was sought after as a soloist for weddings and funerals for many years.  He was an active member of Bethel Lutheran Church where he served on the church council, directed the choir and spent a lot of time volunteering during the church construction project.  In 1959, the Junior Chamber of Commerce award went to Joe and in 2008, he was recognized as the Morrison County Senior Citizen of the Year.  He was also an active volunteer at St. Gabriel’s Hospital as a “life-line” installer for 20 years; at Pine Grove Park helping to modernize the Pine Grove Zoo and helped establish the Minnesota State Veterans Cemetery, including the construction of the original building. Joe enjoyed fishing and golfing in the Canadian Cup League.  He was very proud of his Swedish heritage.

Joseph Johnson is survived by his loving wife of 57 years, Margaret; daughter, JoAnn M. (Mardon) Quandt and family, Julianne, Emily and Carl; sons, Gerald J. Johnson; Bruce D. (Barbara) Johnson and family, Brittany, Kelsey and Ryan; Robert (Susan) Johnson and family, Joseph, Benjamin and Abigail; sister, Doris (Herbert) Anderson; nieces and nephews, Richard (Susan) Johnson; David (Joanne) Anderson; Duane Johnson; Rev. Daniel (Debra) Johnson; Brian (Theresa) Johnson and David (Kara) Johnson;  Carol Johnson; Diane Johnson; Carol Anderson; James (Candy) Hansmeyer; Gene (Lila) Hansmeyer; Joe (Toni) Hansmeyer; Leonard (Ardelle) Hansmeyer; David (Sonja) Hansmeyer; Tony (Joyce) Hansmeyer; Rose (Tom) McMaster; Mary Hansmeyer; Dorothea (David Schons) Hansmeyer; Cecile (Dale) Schmidt; Theresa (Larry) Bowman; Monica (Mark) Morresey; Bernandette (Mark) Bennett and Sharon (Keith) Gates.

Joe was preceded in death by his parents, Joseph (1947) and Hulda (1949) Johnson; brothers, Cecil, Richard ‘Bud’ and Carl ‘Fuzz’ Johnson; nephews, Thomas Hansmeyer; Richard Johnson and Carl Joe Johnson; niece, Barb Blair.

Shelley Funeral Chapels