Weather Forecast




Russell K. Johnson, 96, of Menahga, passed away Thursday, May 2, 2013 at Green Pine Acres in Menahga.

Russell was born Jan-uary 18, 1917 in Gibbon, the first of four children born to John and Mabel Johnson.

Russell married the love of his life, Mildred Poulson, on July 3, 1941. He was called to serve his country in 1942, but was given leave to postpone reporting for training until after the birth of daughter, Karen. He served in the infantry motor pool in Germany where he achieved the rank of First Sergeant.

After his return from Germany and discharge from the service in 1945, Russell used the mechanical training he received to work as a mechanic for Velie Oldsmobile in Minneapolis, where he worked until his retirement in 1979.

There was always an Oldsmobile in mint condi-tion in the garage, as well as cars of friends and family that found their way over for repairs. They welcomed son, Steven, in 1947 and settled in St. Louis Park, where they remained until their retirement.

Their life took a major change when a friend invited the family to their lake cabin and introduced them to boating and water skiing; this led to the purchase of their own boat and family outings to area lakes, which, in turn, led to the purchase of a cabin of their own on 2nd Crow Wing Lake in Hubbard County. This eventually became their retirement home. During the "lake years," the children married and grandchildren arrived, all enjoying wonderful times at "grandpa & grandma's cabin."

When the time came to leave the lake for the convenience of town living, although Russell missed the lake, he was able to have a large garden where he spent many hours. And, of course, through the years, there were always long walks with his dog, from the first sheltie to the last Border collie.

Throughout all of the years, Russell could be counted on to help family and friends whenever the need arrived. He was a devoted husband to Mildred and as her health declined, visited her daily at Green Pine Acres, and eventually took one of the senior apartments there.

After her passing, as his health declined, he moved to the nursing home where he was so well cared for by the devoted staff.

He is survived by his daughter, Karen (Bill) An-derson of Nevis; grandsons Wayne (Fatuma) Peterson, Lance Peterson, Brett Peterson; daughter-in-law, Cathie Johnson-Sepp; granddaughters, Gina (John) Schroeder, Steffanie Johnson, and many great-grandchildren; and sister, Shirley (Wallace) Holznagel.

Russell was preceded in death by his wife, Mildred; son, Steven; sister, Marvel; brother, Verdon; great-grandson, Lance Russell Peterson, Jr.,

Memorial service: was at 1 p.m. Monday, May 6, at the Calvary Lutheran Church in Park Rapids. Pastor Sarah Jensen was the officiant.

Visitation: was held one hour prior to the services at the church on Monday.

Military honors: were provided by the Otto Hen-drickson American Post 212 Honors Team of Park Rapids, with a gun salute by the Menahga VFW Honors Team. Ray Vaadeland played Taps.

Inurnment: Bethel Lu-theran Cemetery rural Dorset.

Friends may leave online condolences at