In Memory of Ronald F. Johnson

March 28, 1942 - April 6, 2024

Ronald Fredrick Johnson passed away on April 6, 2024 after a 3-year battle with CNS Lymphoma.

Ron was born on March 25, 1942, to Stewart Manley and Viola Marcella (Marquardt) Johnson in Clarkfield, MN. The family lived in Boyd, MN where Ron was baptized and confirmed at Redeemer Lutheran Church and attended Boyd schools. Ron played football, baseball, and basketball, with basketball being his favorite. Ron came from a family where hunting and fishing was a regular pastime. In 1960, Ron graduated from Boyd High School and enlisted in the Air Force. Ron was first sent to Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio, Texas, and completed his duty at Thule Air Base in Greenland.

Ron returned to Minnesota, enrolled in Dunwoody Institute in Minneapolis, and began working for State Land Surveying. During that time, he met Geraldine (Gerry) Kleven; the two were engaged a year later. In 1967, he took a position with the U.S. Fish & Wildlife as a Party Chief (land surveyor) in Benson, MN. That same year, Ron and Gerry married in Starbuck, MN, and moved to Benson.

In 1968, the couple welcomed their first son, Anthony Ronald (Tony), and in 1969, their first daughter, Brenda. In May of 1970, they purchased their first home, a mobile home, and later that year, welcomed their second son, Darrin. In 1971, the family of five packed up their mobile home and moved it to Aberdeen, SD with Ron still at the U.S. Fish and Wildlife. They resided in Aberdeen for two years before relocating their mobile home a final time to Wisconsin. Ron was hired by Robinson-Welch Land Surveying in Balsam Lake, WI, and the family found roots in Amery. In 1974, they welcomed their second daughter, Dawn Ella.

In 1976, Ron bought the company, renaming it Ron Johnson Land Surveying and later A&E Land Surveying. He ran the business for 28 years, with offices in Balsam Lake, New Richmond, and White Bear Lake, MN. Ron was elected as the Polk County Land Surveyor from 1977-1982. Ron sometimes took his kids with him surveying as extra hands to hold the measuring rods or because he hoped for good fishing ponds to keep them busy.

In 1978, the family bought a small house on 40 acres, and in 1980 they built the home where they still reside.

Ron encouraged his kids to play sports. Ron was one of the first coaches of the Amery Hockey Association when the program was in its infancy. Ron taught his kids to hunt and fish and passed on as much knowledge as they would accept.

After 40 years, Ron retired from land surveying. He and Gerry traveled to spend time with their children and grandchildren, and when grandkids spent time in Amery they helped Grandpa grow vegetables, pick apples, and play cards. Ron and Gerry’s other travel highlights were Australia, New Zealand, Germany, England, France, Amsterdam, Mexico, Canada, and houseboat trips to Lake of the Woods. Ron and Gerry found a love for Maui, Hawaii where they spent several winters. Ron enjoyed sitting on the lanai watching ocean sunsets and whales. The family had a nearly 30-year tradition of fishing trips to Red Cedar Lake near Rice Lake, WI.

Ron is survived by his wife of over 56 years, Gerry; children, Tony (Melissa Munsey), Brenda (Joan Potter), Darrin (Diana), Dawn (Mick Maxon); sibling, Jill Hein-Nolette (Ron Nolette); Ron’s source of joy, grandchildren, Anthony, Alexis, Jameson Ronald, Isaac Arron, Delaney, Broderick “Bubba”; nephews, Brad Hein, Terry Hein, and Paul Kleven; and many relatives.

Ron was preceded in death by his grandmother, Ella Marquardt, his parents Stewart and Viola, and his stillborn siblings Douglas Steward and Kareen Cynthia.

A visitation will take place on Thursday, April 11, 2024, from 5 to 7 pm at the Williamson-White Funeral Home in Amery, Wisconsin. The funeral service will be at 11:00 am on Friday, April 12, 2024, at Our Savior’s Lutheran Church in Amery with a visitation beginning one hour prior at the church. Interment will take place at the Amery Cemetery following the service.

Last Update: Apr 09, 2024 1:07 pm CDT

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