Raymond Sherman Johnson, 89, passed away Jan. 3, 2010, at Fair Oaks Lodge in Wadena.
Ray was born Dec. 1, 1920, to Sever E. and Mary (Henningsgaard) Johnson in Osakis. Ray was baptized at Salem Lutheran Church in Osakis and confirmed at Calvary Lutheran in Little Sauk. He attended school in Sauk Centre and later Teacher's Training, eventually teaching in rural schools in Todd and Stearns counties.
In August 1942, he joined the Army, serving as a corporal in the Army Air Corps with the 374th Air Service Squadron. He was stationed at Kelly Field in Texas and served overseas in Australia, New Guinea, and other South Sea islands, until his honorable discharge in December 1945.
Ray was united in marriage with Eva Strobeck on Aug. 14, 1946, until her death two weeks later on Aug. 29, 1946, due to polio. Ray and Leona Hope Anderson were married on May 31, 1953, in Osakis. His livelihood was as a salesman beginning with Coast-to-Coast in Sauk Centre, insurance, and for the U.S. Chamber of Commerce in 1960 until his retirement in 1980. In his later years, Ray drove for Bob Thompson's Auto Auction in New York Mills. He was a member of the VFW, sang in the church choir, and played clarinet in the school and American Legion bands.
His interests and hobbies included music, gardening, camping, working on cars, riding motorcycles, caring for his pets, and telling jokes and World War II stories. He especially loved spending time with his family.
Raymond was preceded in death by his first wife, Eva; his parents; brothers, James, Jerome and Orvylle; and sisters, Marion, Sylvia, and Lillian.
Memorial services were set for 2 p.m. on Saturday, Jan. 9 in Immanuel Lutheran Church in Wadena, with the Revs. Rob Nelson and Rachel Stout officiating. Honorary pallbearers are all of Ray's grandchildren. Interment will be in the Wadena Cemetery. Arrangements were with the Johnson Memorial Home in Wadena (www.johnsonmemorialhome.com).
Survivors include his loving wife, Leona; son, Kurt (Gail) of Andover; daughters, Kristin (Mick) Scott of Pequot Lakes, Julie (Mike) Lawrence of Park Rapids, and Jean (Bill) Beck of Coon Rapids; grandchildren, Alex Johnson, Mike, Angie (Pete Olson), Becky, Jake, and Jenny Scott, Elliot, Megan, and Mindy Lawrence, and Anders and Aaron Beck; great-granddaughters, Hailey, Ella and Malena; and sister, Gloria (Robert) Bofferding of Minnetonka.