Ray Johnson, 81Raymond Harry Johnson, 81, died Sunday, January 29, 2012, at his home.
Raymond Harry Johnson, 81, died Sunday, January 29, 2012, at his home.
Ray was born on the family farm in Brandon Township on October 28, 1930, the son of Harry and Julia (Gunderson) Johnson. He attended Country School District #8 and graduated from Alexandria High School in 1948.
On December 30, 1950, Ray was united in marriage to Jean Olson at Grace Lutheran Church of Brandon. The couple lived in Alexandria for a time and Ray was employed by Clarence Anderson Construction and the Wearever Utensil Company. In 1955 they moved to a farm in Brandon Township and in 1963 they took over the operation and settled back on the family farm where Ray had been born.
Ray was a lifelong member of East Moe Lutheran Church and served the church on the church board for more than 35 years. He also enjoyed bowling and had bowled for more than 40 years and pitched horseshoes for more than 20 years. When Ray was younger, he played on the Garfield and Brandon town baseball teams as the catcher. He also enjoyed being a fan of the Minnesota Vikings and the Minnesota Twins. In typical Norwegian fashion, he was very stoic, but did enjoy a great sense of humor.
More than anything, however, he enjoyed his family, especially his grandchildren and great-grandchildren. He also loved music, sang as a soloist at weddings and funerals often and enjoyed playing his trumpet.
He is survived by his wife, Jean Johnson of Garfield; children, Lola (Loren) Backlund of Brooklyn Park, Susan (Frank) Foslien of Garfield, Gail (Chuck) Backes of Hernando, Fl, and Mark Johnson of Garfield; grandchildren, Amy Jo (Chris) Sexton, Jill (Aaron) Anderson, Stacy (Steve) Hemming, Sara (Brendan) Reilly and Darren Foslien; great-grandchildren, Dylan Sexton, Lauren Sexton, Brady Anderson, Ellie Anderson, Riley Anderson, Allison Hemming, Carter Hemming, Tyler Hemming, Marissa Reilly, Ben Reilly, and Jenna Reilly; and in-laws, Joe and Betty Schiele and Robert and Marlys Olson.
Ray was preceded in death by his parents; brother, Kenneth Johnson; sister, LaVonne Anderson; sister-in-law, Gudrun Johnson; and brother-in-law, Paul Anderson.
Funeral services were held Wednesday, February 1 at East Moe Lutheran Church in Moe Township with the Rev. Don Clifford officiating. Music was provided by Diane Alveshere, organist, Jill Anderson and Stacy Hemming, vocalists. Interment was at the church cemetery with Paul Lauthen, Jim Thompson, Robert Olson, Darren Foslien, Keith Johnson and Lydon Sletto serving as pallbearers.
Arrangements are with Anderson Funeral Home in Alexandria; www.andersonfuneral.net.