Harlen Johnson, 75, Winnebago

Published 9:17 am Monday, August 19, 2013

Harlen D. Johnson, 75, of Winnebago, died surrounded by his family at his home on Saturday, Aug. 17, 2013, as a result of acute myeloid leukemia.

Funeral services will be at 11 a.m. Wednesday at Community Covenant Church in Huntley, with the Rev. Dennis Anders officiating. Burial will be in Dell Lutheran Cemetery, rural Frost. Visitation time will be from 5 to 8 p.m. Tuesday, at Patton Funeral Home & Cremation Service, 400 E. 14th St. in Blue Earth and one hour prior to services at the church. Web tributes may be left at www.pattonfh.com. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations are preferred to United Hands Hospice or Community Covenant Church.

Harlen Johnson

Harlen Johnson

Harlen was born at Frost on Nov. 14, 1937, to Harold and Irene (Egeness) Johnson. He was baptized and confirmed at Dell Lutheran Church where he was a third-generation member. He graduated from Frost High School in 1955 and joined the Navy shortly after. He was a radar operator for the Airborne Early Warning System patrolling the Northern Atlantic in Super Constellation planes. On Dec. 1, 1957, he married Janice Perrin in Lexington Park, Md., where he was stationed at Patuxent River Naval Air Base. To this union were born four sons and two daughters. They were married 55 years.

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For 32 years they lived and raised their family in the Frost area. Harlen worked at Stamper’s Poultry Processing in Wells and Streater Industries in Albert Lea for several years. After a work injury he attended the University of Minnesota Technical College in Waseca, graduating in 1974 with an Associate’s in Applied Science Degree in agri-business management. For several years he then worked for the Faribault County Soil and Water Conservation District out of Blue Earth. For the remainder of his working years he was a crop insurance adjuster and supervisor for several crop insurance companies. He retired after suffering a stroke in 2005.

After moving to the Winnebago area, Harlen and Jan joined Community Covenant Church in Huntley, where they were active members. Harlen was instrumental in starting a weekly children’s Sunday sermon called “Kingdom Kids.” Some still call him Grandpa to this day. It was also Harlen who began the church’s Sunday radio program, “A Sunday Morning Thought.” He served as a Sunday School teacher, Bible study leader and chairman of the church council.

Harlen’s greatest joy in life was being a grandpa. He planned and hosted yearly Halloween parties, sledding parties and family picnics. Twice he took the whole family on vacation, leading the caravan of cars to the House on the Rock in Wisconsin and the to the Black Hills of South Dakota.

After moving to Garden Court Apartments in Winnebago, Harlen enjoyed making cookies, pies, rhubarb dessert, Rice Krispie bars and raspberry jam, which he would share with family and friends. On nice days he would often be seen tootling around Winnebago in his power chair.

Harlen Johnson is survived by his wife, Jan Johnson of Winnebago, his sons, Randy (Sallie) Johnson of Dunn, N.C., and Tracy (Katy) Johnson of Huntley; daughters, Robin Howard (Marcia Young) of Edina, Kelly (Brad) Huper of Winnebago, 10 grandchildren: Evie (Bryan) Cunningham of Albert Lea, Angie (Mikie) Cox of Long Prairie, Laura (Jon) Becker of New Richland, Dan Howard of Northfield, Elisha Iverson (Jeremy Staloch) of Wells, Amanda Iverson of Albert Lea, Isaiah Iverson of Winnebago, Liz Ulferts of Bricelyn, Hannah Johnson (Curtis Larson) of Ringsted, Iowa, and Gabe Johnson of Huntley. Also surviving are 11 great grandchildren, two brothers, Terry (Betty Lou) Johnson of Buffalo and Richard (Corinne) Johnson of Frost, and one sister, Lois (Dennis) Hansel of Albert Lea.

He was preceded in death by his parents, two infant brothers and two infant sons, David and Ricky Johnson.