Richard Arthur Johnson, age 84, of Dassel, died Monday, May 11, 2009, at the Lakeside Health Care Center of Dassel.
He was born Aug. 9, 1924, on a family farm southwest of Cokato, the son of Arthur and Elsie (Kaer) Johnson. Richard was baptized and confirmed at the Gethsemane Lutheran Church in Dassel.
He grew up in the Dassel area, and graduated from the Dassel High School in 1942.
Upon graduating from high school, Richard enlisted in the US Army Air Corps, and later served in the Air Force as a pilot. He served from November 1942 to November 1946. In 1944, he was shot down and was a POW until the end of the war. After many years, Richard was awarded a Purple Heart for wounds received during World War II.
Richard was united in marriage to Kathryn Kildaw in June of 1945, at the Gethsemane Lutheran Church in Dassel. They made their home in the Dassel area, where Richard farmed and later was employed as an electronic technician at the 3-M Corporation in Hutchinson.
After retiring from farming and 3-M, they moved to Washington Lake, where they made their home for nine years.
Richard enjoyed working with electronics, was a talented photographer, and loved to fix cars and tractors. He loved to spend time fishing, and hunting pheasants.
For many years, Richard drove bus for the Dassel School District.
He was an active member of the Dassel American Legion and enjoyed giving the Memorial Day address and awarding the awards at the graduation ceremony. He was proud of his country and the time that he served in the Army Air Corps and the Air Force.
Richard will deeply be missed by his family and his friends.
He is survived by his children, Rick (Marcia) Johnson of Dassel, Tom (Diana) Johnson of Buffalo, and David (Kimberly) Johnson of Roseville; seven grandchildren, Richard Ryan Johnson, Melanie Johnson, Sarah Shoemake, Megan Gruidl, Kate Elert, Anna Johnson, and Daniel Johnson, and 10 great-grandchildren, Richard Parker, Madelyn, Hayden, Rayna, Anthony, Isabella, Sophia, Makenna, Kylie, and Karson.
Richard is further survived by a sister, Shirley (Jim) Ostlund of Dassel, and a sister-in-law, Betty Johnson of Dassel.
He was preceded in death by his wife, Kathryn; his parents; and a brother, Glenn.
The funeral service took place Friday, May 15 at 1:30 p.m. at the Gethsemane Lutheran Church in Dassel with the Rev. Steven Olson officiating. Music was provided by organist Florine Osness, and soloist Sheldon Hedin, who sang “On Eagle’s Wings” and “How Great Thou Art.” Congregational hymns were “In The Garden” and “The Battle Hymn of the Republic.” Interment was at the Dassel Community Cemetery, with military honors provided by the US Air Force Honor Guard and Paul F. Dille American Legion Post.
Visitation was Thursday evening, May 14 from 5 to 8 p.m. at the Johnson Funeral Home in Dassel, and continued Friday for one hour prior to the service at the church.
Casket bearers were Melanie Johnson, Sarah Shoemake, Megan Gruidl, Kate Elert, Anna Johnson, Daniel Johnson, Richard Ryan Johnson, and Erica Johnson.
Arrangements were by the Johnson Funeral Home in Dassel.