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Roger Johnson, 1934-2019

Roger Dean Johnson, 85, of Albert Lea passed away peacefully Thursday, Dec. 12, 2019, at St. John’s Lutheran Communit-The Woodlands surrounded by his family. Funeral services will be at 11 a.m. Tuesday at Bayview/Freeborn Funeral Home in Albert Lea. The Rev. Don Malinsky will officiate. Visitation will be from 4 to 6 p.m. Monday at Bayview/Freeborn Funeral Home and one hour before the service at the funeral home.

Roger Johnson

Roger was born Jan. 29, 1934, in Blooming Prairie on the family farm, the son of Raymond and Helen (Ellis) Johnson. He was a graduate of Blooming Prairie High School. He served in the Air Force for three years in Lake Charles, Louisiana.

On Sept. 5, 1959, he married Helen Waalkens at Oakland Midway Lutheran Church in Oakland. Two boys, Jim and Al, were born to this union.

Throughout the years, Roger worked several different jobs. He finished his career driving truck for Viracon in Owatonna. He retired at the age of 62 and enjoyed traveling with Helen, family and friends.

Roger is survived by his wife of 60 years, Helen; son, James Johnson, and wife, Jill, of Albert Lea; son, Alan Johnson, and wife, Erin Bravatto, of Prior Lake; and grandson, Luke Johnson. He is also survived by his brothers Darel Johnson and wife, Betty, of Owatonna and Larry Johnson and wife, Shirley, of Owatonna; and his sisters Carol Ingvaldson and husband, Donnie, of Owatonna, Linda Kath of Waseca and Sue Schmidt and friend, Larry, of Waseca. Survivors also include his sisters-in-law Henrietta Lysne and husband, Maurice, of Hayward, Min Westland and husband, Paul, of Albert Lea, Kath Heffron and husband, Mike, of Maple Lake and Dawn Horst and husband, Tim, of Howard Lake; brother-in-law, Lou Larson, and wife, Stephanie, of Hayward; and many cousins, nieces and nephews. 

He was preceded in death by his parents Raymond and Helen Johnson; mother and father-in-law John and Lydia Waalkens; brother, Richard Johnson, and wife, Jonna; brother-in-law, Albert Kath; brother-in-law, Sheldon Schmidt; and sister-in-law Sal Larson. 

Roger enjoyed camping, snowmobiling, golfing, bowling, watching his sons and grandson’s athletics, and spending his winters in Arizona. He loved spending time with family and friends and always had a smile on his face and a twinkle in his eye. He shared a special bond with his grandson, Luke, and loved to take him camping and spend time with him whenever he could. Roger was eager to share stories everywhere he went and had a great way of making conversation; he never met someone he didn’t like. He will be greatly missed by all who knew and loved him. 

He would want his family to give special mention to his caretakers at The Woodlands. They provided the love and care he needed to make his life comfortable in his last year and a half. If you would like to leave a memorial, consider donating to the Parkinson’s Foundation at parkinson.org. Roger courageously battled this disease for over 15 years.