In Memory of Kevin J. Johnson
Kevin Jeffrey Johnson Age 53, of Rice Lake, WI, died Sunday, July 30th, 2023 at his home.
Kevin was born on March 29th, 1970 in Rice Lake to Ronald and Sandra (Hoel) Johnson.
He graduated from Rice Lake Senior High in 1988, and UW Superior in 1993. He went on to work on his post graduate degree at UW Eau Claire in 1995. Kevin wrote 2 plays and a poetry book called the Sky and the Sea published by AuthorHouse, he also published in Wisterian - UWS Literacy Journal, The Spectator - UWEC, Examiner - as the Eau Claire County Progressive Examiner, Eau Claire Leader Telegram and more. Kevin lived in Northwestern Wi, most of his life, except for the time he moved to Hawaii to experience life near the ocean and learn more about Dolphins. He worked at Lehman's Supper Club for many years while writing at home.
He is survived by a sister and brother-in-law, Laura and Jauhn Etlicher of Green Bay; 3 nieces, Chelsea, Camille, and Carlee; 5 great nieces and nephews, two aunts, Sherry Hoel of Chicago, and Margaret Duffy of Minneapolis. An Uncle Jeffrey (Linda) Hoel, Milwaukee, and Robert Staaf, California.
He was preceded in death by his parents Ron and Sandy Johnson.
Kevin was loved by his family and will be missed terribly. His sarcasm with almost every conversation was endless, and his laugh, unique and almost annoying, a comforting memory. His giving heart was immeasurable, he wanted to help everyone, and gave up his independence to help our parents for years. He had a connection with dolphins and loved them so much he wrote about them, swam with them, and frequently donated to the Dolphin Project to help protect them. He dreamed of being a stand-up comedian and even tried his hand at it a few times. He didn't let his family know, after great badgering he said “some of the jokes are about dad and I don't think he would appreciate them”. You could count on him for a birthday card every year….2-3 months late. Kevin wrote at least 2 plays and many poems, he was short of getting his masters degree only by not finishing his thesis. He could talk for hours, and would debate you on any subject, he would take the opposing side just because he loved the debate. He loved listening to music, which he did daily, especially Liz Phair, who I know he had a big crush on. I think one of the happiest I have ever seen Kevin is when he got his book published. We were all so proud. As I read through it today I stopped fast at his poem entitled “Death”. Through my tears, I read the last verse and eked out a smile, it read “Death is the cocoon that becomes the butterfly. Death is the dark cloud before the rain-bowed sky. Fly high Kevin, my brother and lifelong friend, I will miss you more than the Sky and the Sea.
A celebration of life will be held from 4-6PM, Thursday, August 10th 2023 at Appleyard’s Home for Funerals in Rice Lake, with interment in Orchard Beach Cemetery in Rice Lake.