Richard J. Johnson, age 77 of Bloomington, passed away at home after a courageous battle with cancer on January 27, 2024.
Richard John Johnson was born May 5, 1946 in Lake Benton, MN. He grew up there on the family farm. He used to love to go to his Uncle Marvin’s farm and help with chores. He was the youngest of 4 siblings, Eunice (Arlyn), Larry (Lola), and Irene. Rich graduated from Lake Benton High School in 1964 and moved to Minneapolis to attend Dunwoody Institute. After graduation, he married and had two children, Jeff and Julie. Rich owned a service station for awhile in Bloomington. He joined Clarklift of Minnesota on 8-16-1971, retiring 7-29-2010, with almost 40 years of service as an Industrial Mechanic.
Rich was a proud Noble in the Osman Shrine, St Paul. He was an active Shriner for 52 years until his passing. He served in two units, Provost and Legion of Honor. His most fun moments in the Shrine were riding his Harley in the summer parades, assisting at the Shrine Circus every year, and traveling to the Midwest Shrine Association convention every August. He and Jerry Payne had great fun setting up the R&R room for the gang.
In 1984, he met the love of his life, Linda. They married in 1991 in Hawaii and were loving husband and wife until his passing. Rich and Linda loved to camp. They headed to Beaver Dam Campground in Cleveland, MN every summer weekend for 12 years. In the spring of 2006, they purchased a lot at Cokato Lake Campgrounds. After retirement, they spent the better part of the summer at their lake home. And, there were a couple of fun weekends at Clarks Grove Campground with family!
Rich’s passion was fishing. His family farm was located on a lake so fishing was an everyday occurrence. When we would go to Lake Benton for a visit, he always took his mom and dad out for some bullhead fishing. As they sat on buckets on the shoreline, his dad would say, “spring bullheads were the best”. He organized several trips with Shriners or friends to Algoma, WI for salmon fishing. His motto was “a bad day of fishing beats a good day at work”.
Rich came from a large extended family. Between his mom and dad, he had 35-40 aunts and uncles. His mother was an “Evink” from Holland Michigan and his dad a “Johnson” out of the Lake Benton area. Family reunions were always large, full of laughter and fun, and lots of food. One of the first reunions I went to was in Holland. Breakfast was biscuits and gravy. Being a city girl, I put my foot down and told Rich that we were going to town for a “real” breakfast. It was always “Yes, dear” after that.
Rich was a gentle, loving, and loyal family man. His daughter, Julie, remained an important part of his life. He adopted Linda’s family as his own, her sister Sue Kottom (Pete), her sister Maggie Gallentine (Steve) and her sister Ann Faulds (Kevin). Rich had many nieces and nephews and kept abreast of what was happening in their lives. He was known as Uncle Texy, aka the Old Fart. He was a man of few words but his smile told you how much he loved you and he loved us to the max.
Rich is preceded in death by his parents, Glenn and Henrietta Johnson, and many Aunts and Uncles from the Lake Benton, MN and Holland, MI area. In lieu of flowers, memorials are preferred to: Osman Auxiliary, 1703 Lilac Lane, Mendota Heights, MN 55118.
There will be a visitation on Sunday, February 4, 2024 from 2:00-4:00 PM. A celebration of life will be held on Monday, February 5, 2024 at 11:00 AM with a visitation one-hour prior and lunch after the service. All services will be held at Ballard Sunder Funeral Home in Shakopee, MN, 833 Marschall Rd. Family and friends who can’t attend in-person are invited to livestream the service at the following link: Richard Johnson Service (Meeting ID: 868 3515 6206 / Passcode: 226003). Private interment will be held at a later date as Rich wished to be cremated.Print Obituary & Condolences