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James Richard Johnson

November 5, 1933 March 9, 2015
James Richard Johnson
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Obituary for James Richard Johnson

Worthington, MN

      James Richard Johnson, 81, died on March 9, 2015 at the Select Specialty Hospital in Sioux Falls, SD. He was born November 5, 1933 in Worthington, MN to Harold and Fanchon (Fauskee) Johnson. He was united in marriage to Joanne Marlene Nelson, daughter of Walter and Vivian (Johnson) Nelson, on August 24, 1957 in Albert Lea, MN. They raised two children, Kimberly Sue and Jeffrey Richard in Worthington, MN.

      Jim graduated from Worthington High School in 1951 and went on to graduate from Elgin Watch College, Elgin, IL in 1952. Afterward, Jim worked at Lyle’s Jewelry in Albert Lea, MN. He served in the U.S. Army from August 1954 to August 1956, most of the time he was stationed in Alaska. In 1962, Jim and Joanne moved to Worthington, MN, where Jim worked at Wick’s Jewelry. Jim and Joanne purchased Wick’s Jewelry in 1964, and renamed it Johnson Jewelry, Inc. Jim enjoyed working with the public and meeting the retail and jewelry repair needs of customers until his retirement.

      Jim was actively involved in community organization and leadership roles. He participated in the Y’s Men and was a charter member and officer of the Early Risers Kiwanis group in Worthington. He was a business member of the Worthington Area Chamber of Commerce. He shared his talents by singing in the Nobles Chordsmen and at Indian Lake Baptist Church, both in the choir and as a soloist. Jim also served as a deacon, Sunday school superintendent, and church chairman of Indian Lake Baptist Church.

      Jim enjoyed roller-skating, ice-skating, motorcycling, camping, and snowmobiling. He and Joanne traveled extensively throughout the 48 contiguous states. In later years, Jim especially enjoyed spending time with his grandchildren.

      Jim is survived by his wife of 57 years, Joanne Johnson; daughter Kimberly Jansen of Worthington, granddaughter Jasmine Lansdowne and great-grandchildren, Jacie and Jaxson Lansdowne of Owasso, OK; son Jeffrey (Sharon) Johnson and three grandsons, Jared, Micah and Matthias Johnson of Worthington; brother William (Ellen) Johnson of Oconomowoc, WI, nieces Jill (John) Van Susteran, Julia, Lucas, Katie Van Susteran, Mukwonago, WI and Kristie Johnson, Chicago, IL; and brother-in-law John Lillie, Santa Rosa, CA. He was preceded in death by his parents, infant brother James, and sister LaVonne Lillie.

      A visitation will be held on Friday, March 13, 2015, from 5:00 p.m. to 7:30 p.m., at the Benson Funeral Home in Worthington. The memorial service will be held on Saturday, March 14, 2015, at 11:00 a.m., at Indian Lake Baptist Church, 31141 Roberts Ave., rural Worthington, with Reverend Jonathan Larson officiating. A family interment will be held at a later date in the Indian Lake Baptist Church cemetery.


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