Clarence Julius Johnson, age 81, unexpectedly passed away on Tuesday, August 28, 2018, at his home in Jordan, MN.

The legacy of Clarence will be honored on Wednesday, September 5, from 4-7 pm at Ballard-Sunder Funeral and Cremation, 104 West First Street, Jordan and one hour prior to the Mass of Christian Burial on Thursday, September 6, at 11 am, at St. John the Baptist Catholic Church, 210 North Broadway in Jordan. Father Neil Bakker will preside. Acting as pall bearers will be his son Philip and grandchildren. Clarence will be laid to rest with family at a private family burial on Friday, September 7, at St. Joe Cemetery, Jordan, MN.

The talented and adventurous life of Clarence all began on May 3, 1937 in Lakefield, MN, born to parents Reynolds and Lillian (Fest) Johnson. He was the oldest brother to Thomas, James, John and Ellen. Clarence’s family first lived on a farm in Minneota, MN, before moving into town. He attended Catholic school through the eighth grade and then graduated in 1956 from Minneota High School.

Clarence proudly served in the United States Navy, from July 1957 to July 1961. His tour took him to the Philippians and then on to Washington DC. Here, Clarence was a decoder for President John F. Kennedy. There were many late nights, he personally woke him and delivered the messages.

After the service, Clarence furthered his education at Mankato State University, where he secured an Industrial Arts Teaching Degree. Clarence first taught in Michigan, before beginning a 17-year career in Jordan, MN. Most of his career was spent teaching Junior High shop classes and specialty classes in the High School. Clarence also conducted furniture classes. He felt it was important the students were educated and learned the proper techniques when operating machines and tools. Clarence often reminded them of what happens when you don’t, by showing them his fingers in a jar! Clarence thought this was a very teachable moment! For many years Clarence also worked as a driver’s ed instructor for 55 and Alive classes.

While attending college, Clarence’s life was enriched meeting Constance Notermann. From the very first moment they met, there was a glow of happiness encircled him. Clarence knew immediately, they were destined to marry. On December 26, 1964, they exchanged vows at the Church of St. Mark, in Shakopee, MN. They were first blessed with twin girls, Colleen and Peggy, with Philip and Janelle in the years to come. First living in Michigan, then in Shakopee, Clarence and Connie built their dream home in Jordan in 1973. Through the years, the Johnson family enjoyed traveling and taking short road trips. As a couple, they were fortunate to explore every state west of the Mississippi River. Clarence and Connie’s fondest excursion was to the Vatican City to be blessed by the Pope. They too enjoyed eating out at Wampach’s Family Restaurant, Emma Krumbee’s and the Cracker Barrel.

A man of many talents, Clarence created beautiful works of art with wood and stain glass. He was a jack-of-all-trades and could fix anything. Clarence was also a very gifted chef, despite in the later years adjusting the temperature or recipe a bit too much. He dappled in wine making, before the craze was even popular. Clarence enjoyed attending the Festival of Tall Ships in Duluth, decades of hunting with his son, Philip and the family dog, Max.

Clarence was a generous man. He was always willing to help but wasn’t afraid of letting you know what was on his mind! Crafty, yet reserved in certain ways, Clarence loved conversations. He deeply loved his family and extended family. Clarence was a proud grandpa and great-grandpa.

Forever loved and will be forever missed by children, Peggy (Roger) Pasek, Philip Johnson, Janelle (Ryan Sims) Marotzke; grandchildren, Charlotte (Ross), Alisha (fiancé Matt), Cortney (Jason), Matt, Katelyn, Nicholas; great-granddaughter, Hayden; siblings, Tom (Marilyn) Johnson, John (Patty) Johnson, Ellen (Pete) Kincanon; sister-in-law, Janie Johnson; special friend, Kurt Jacobson; other relatives and friends.

Clarence entered eternal life with his wife, Connie; daughter, Colleen Efta; parents and brother, Jim Johnson.