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Robert (Bob) Crays Johnson, 84

Dec 29, 2008

Winnebago — Robert (Bob) C. Johnson, age 84, of Winnebago, died Dec. 22, 2008, at Parker-Oaks, Winnebago.

Funeral services were held on Sunday, Dec. 28, 2008, at 2 p.m. at the First Presbyterian Church in Winnebago. Rev. Michael Roys officiated. Burial was in Rosehill Cemetery, Winnebago.

He was born Aug. 4, 1924, at Spencer, Iowa, the son of Merle and Irene (Crays) Johnson.

Bob grew up mostly in and around the Winnebago area. After starting country school in Nebraska, he attended grades 2-7 in Winnebago. For eighth grade he lived with his Grandmother Johnson and began attending school in Huntley, graduating in 1942.

Upon graduation, he enlisted in the Army and served for three years during WWII in the European Theatre. When Bob returned, he went to work for Larson Implement in Wells as Parts Manager for four years. He then moved to Blue Earth for three years where he worked as a Conoco bulk driver and as Parts Manager for Eide and Holland Implements. In May of 1953 they moved to Winnebago when Bob bought Warren Brothers Implement in partnership with Leon Oliver to begin Winnebago Implement. In 1959 they added the Chevrolet franchise, becoming Winnebago Implement and Auto. The business grew during the farming years, often employing up to 12 full time employees. During these years, Bob was often referred to throughout the area as ‘Honest Bob’. He remained a familiar downtown business person until 1988 when he semi-retired, continuing to buy and sell farm machinery.

Bob and Eleanor Mair, high school classmates, were united in marriage on May 29, 1946, at the United Methodist Church in Fairmont. He was a member of the First Presbyterian Church, past elder, and active in the Mens Group. Bob was also a member of the Winnebago Community Club, retired member of the volunteer fire department, original member of the Ambunauts, city councilman, and active on the Winnebago Development Corporation for many years. He was also a recipient of the Winnebago Hall of Fame Award in 2005.

He is survived by his wife Eleanor of Winnebago, sons James (Kay Boettcher) Johnson of Remer, Dean Johnson of Winnebago, Chuck Johnson of Bloomington, David Johnson of St. Michael, daughter Wendy Johnson of Babbitt, grandchildren Monte, Kari, Ryan and Tracy and five great grandchildren.

Bob was preceded in death by his parents, his brothers M. Everette and James, many brothers and sisters-in-law, and daughter-in-law Susan (Dean) Johnson.

Memorials are preferred to Parker-Oaks Auxiliary or the Presbyterian Church Kitchen Fund.