Winnebago Harlen D. Johnson, age 75, of Winnebago, died surrounded by his family at his home on Saturday, Aug. 17, 2013, as a result of Acute Myeloid Leukemia.
Funeral Services were held Aug. 21, 2013, at Community Covenant Church in Huntley. The Rev. Dennis Anders officiated. Burial was in Dell Lutheran Cemetery, rural Frost. Patton Funeral Home & Cremation?Service was in charge of arrangements.
Harlen was born at Frost on Nov. 14, 1937, to Harold and Irene (Egeness) Johnson. He was baptized and confirmed at Dell Lutheran Church where he was a third generation member. He graduated from Frost High School in 1955 and joined the Navy shortly after. He was a radar operator for the Airborne Early Warning System patrolling the Northern Atlantic in Super Constellation planes. On Dec. 1, 1957, he married Janice Perrin in Lexington Park, Md., where he was stationed at Patuxent River Naval Air Base. To this union were born four sons and two daughters. They were married 55 years.
For 32 years they lived and raised their family in the Frost area. Harlen worked at Stamper's Poultry Processing in Wells and Streater Industries in Albert Lea for several years. After a work injury he attended the University of Minnesota Technical College in Waseca, graduating in 1974 with an Associates in Applied Science Degree in Agri-business Management. For several years he then worked for the Faribault County Soil and Water Conservation District out of Blue Earth. For the remainder of his working years he was a Crop Insurance Adjuster and supervisor for several Crop Insurance companies. He retired after suffering a stroke in 2005.
After moving to the Winnebago area, Harlen and Jan joined Community Covenant Church in Huntley where they were active members. Harlen was instrumental in starting a weekly children's Sunday sermon called "Kingdom Kids" some still call him "Grandpa" to this day. It was also Harlen who began the church's Sunday radio program, "A Sunday Morning Thought." He also served as a Sunday School teacher, Bible Study leader and chairman of the church council.
Harlen's greatest joy in life was being a grandpa. He planned and hosted yearly Halloween parties, sledding parties and family picnics. Twice he took the whole family on vacation, leading the caravan of cars to the House on the Rock in Wisconsin and to the Black Hills of South Dakota.
After moving to Garden Court Apartments in Winnebago, Harlen enjoyed making cookies, pies, rhubarb dessert, rice krispie bars and raspberry jam which he would share with family and friends. On nice days he would often be seen tootling around Winnebago in his power chair.
Harlen Johnson is survived by his wife, Jan Johnson, of Winnebago; his sons, Randy (Sallie) Johnson, of Dunn, N.C., and Tracy (Katy) Johnson, of Huntley; daughters, Robin Howard (Marcia Young), of Edina, and Kelly (Brad) Huper, of Winnebago; 10 grandchildren, Evie (Bryan) Cunningham, of Albert Lea, Angie (Mikie) Cox, of Long Prairie, Laura (Jon) Becker, of New Richland, Dan Howard, of Northfield, Elisha Iverson (Jeremy Staloch), of Wells, Amanda Iverson, of Albert Lea, Isaiah Iverson, of Winnebago, Liz Ulferts, of?Bricelyn, Hanna Johnson (Curtis Larson), of Ringsted, Iowa, and Gabe Johnson, of Huntley. Also surviving are 11 great-grandchildren; two brothers, Terry (Betty Lou) Johnson, of Buffalo, and Richard (Corinne) Johnson, of Frost; and one sister, Lois (Dennis) Hansel, of Albert Lea.
He was preceded in death by his parents; two infant brothers; and two infant sons, David and Ricky Johnson.
In lieu of flowers, memorial donations are preferred to United Hands Hospice or Community Covenant Church.
Web tributes may be left at www.pattonfh.com