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Lee Johnson, 1924-2015

Funeral Services for Lee Junior Johnson, 91, of  Ellendale will be at 2 p.m. Tuesday at First Lutheran Church in Ellendale. The Rev. Richard Sliper will officiate. Interment will be in First Lutheran Cemetery. Military honors will be accorded by Ellendale veteran’s organizations.  Friends may visit with family from 4 to 8 p.m. Monday at Bonnerup Funeral Service in Ellendale and one hour before the service at the church.

Lee died on Tuesday, Sept. 1, 2015, at Mayo Clinic Health System in Albert Lea.

Lee Johnson

Lee Johnson

He was born on Aug. 26, 1924, in Moulton, Iowa, the son of Lee and Belle  (Lawson) Johnson.

He attended school and as a young man he began farming. When it was war time, he proudly served his country in the United States Army Air Corps. When he returned from the war, Junior returned to farming and then worked as a buttermaker in Glenville, Madison Lake, Freeborn,  Bixby  and at Ellendale Creamery. Lee received certification in refrigeration and also obtained his boilers license, working for EF Johnson for eight years before retiring in 1987.

He married Alice Olson in 1944, they later divorced. He later married Jean C. Simonson on Feb. 14, 1976. She preceded him in death.

He was a member of First Lutheran Church in Ellendale, a 70-year member of the American Legion and was also a member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars and Eagles Club.

Lee enjoyed dancing, traveling — especially to California and Colorado — gardening  working on small motors and going to the casino. He made wine — grape and cherry were among his specialties ­— that he took to the Steele County Fair for competition.

He was honored by the invitation to participate in the Honor Flight on April 11, 2015.

Lee is survived by his daughter, Connie Johnson, of New Richland; grandchildren Sarah (Michael) Lindstrom of Blaine and Shawn (Jessica) Johnson of Kasson; extended family; son, Vernon (Jeanne) Simonson, and daughter, Lori  Simonson (Randy Graves); sons-in-law Ed Eisel and LeRoy Peterson; grandchildren Dana Simonson, Crystal (Eric) Luxmore, Amber (Adam) Benson, Trevor (Jamie) Titus, Tyler (Shara) Titus, Carly Titus, Ronda (John) Stackpole, Tara (Jeff) Johnston, Eric Eisel, Kevin (Diane) Peterson and Darin (Sue) Peterson; great-grandchildren Alexa and Carson Luxmore, Ayden and Aubri Benson, Carter, Abbey and Levi Titus, Kylie, Kesi and Tony Titus, Kyle and Kaytlin Stackpole, Hallie Johnston and Danielle, Jessica, Nicole, Jacob and Skylar Peterson; and many nieces and nephews.

He was preceded in death by his parents; wife, Jean; son, Larry Johnson; daughters Boni Eisel and Gladys Peterson; grandson, Jamie Peterson; brother, Edgar Johnson, and his wife, Emma; sister, Viola, and her husband, Raymond Nelson; brother, Woodrow “Bob” Johnson, and his wife, Veola; sister, Ellen, and her husband, Jay Grunwald; and brother, George Johnson, and his wife, LaVonne.

Lee loved to visit and bring people together. His always sunny disposition had a very positive and inspirational impact on the lives of many.

Blessed be his memory.