Gilbert August Johnson
Gilbert August Johnson, 93, died Friday, September 20, 2008 at Perham Memorial Home. Services were held Monday, September 22 at Our Saviors Lutheran Church in Virginia. Services were performed by Pastor Art Dale and Pastor Bob Simensen. Burial wi...
Gilbert August Johnson, 93, died Friday, September 20, 2008 at Perham Memorial Home.
Services were held Monday, September 22 at Our Saviors Lutheran Church in Virginia. Services were performed by Pastor Art Dale and Pastor Bob Simensen. Burial will be at Fort Snelling at a later date.
Gil was born in Minneapolis April 23, 1915 to August and Emma Johnson and spent his boyhood in "Nordeast" Minneapolis, graduating from Edison High School in Minneapolis. His mother died when Gil was a young boy, and he lived with his sister and later his father.
He married Phyllis McCasland September 21, 1940. When Pearl Harbor occurred Gil enlisted in the Army in the following week. The US responded to a call from Australia for American troops, due to the threat of the Japanese navy. As a result, Gil was among several thousand troops who sailed aboard the Queen Mary to Australia about a month later. Gil spent the duration of WWII in the South Pacific, serving as an airplane mechanic in a number of locations. When he finally returned home to Phyl, his 190-pound frame had shrunk to 120 pounds. Phyl's cooking brought him up to his pre-war weight within a few months.
Gil and Phyl lived in the Twin Cities for a couple years and then moved to the Iron Range, when he became a salesman for Janney Semple Hill. They lived in an apartment in Eveleth for a few months, and then purchased a home about halfway between Buhl and Mt Iron. They lived there for the next 54 years. The 2-story home was a landmark on Highway 169, due to its stately nature (white with red shutters) and the fact that it was embedded in a maple forest.
Gil was a salesman all his life, and was one of the best. His success was built on developing and maintaining a strong, trustworthy relationship with his clients. It was the same relationship he had with the many friends that he and Phyllis had. The Johnsons were active in Our Saviors Lutheran Church during the many years they were on the Iron Range.
Gil retired from Williams Steel in 1980, and embarked on a long and happy retirement with Phyl, who was wheelchair bound. He devoted himself to be Phyl's companion and caregiver until her death in 1997, after 57 years of marriage.
Gil was a consummate "putterer" and he puttered to his heart's content on the Johnson Acres. He was probably at his happiest when he had his chain saw in hand...cutting wood for the wood burning furnace or mowing grass.
The outdoors were always important to the Johnson family, with numerous camping trips to Lac LaCroix with the Henke family and others. Gil and Phyl even managed to do a couple camping trips in retirement. Ma Johnson was never one to let her wheelchair stand in the way of something she wanted or needed to get done.
After selling his house in 2001, Gil moved to Grand Rapids and lived with his daughter Linda Winkler and her husband. He moved to Perham in 2007 to be with his son Chuck and his wife Darla. He lived at Perham Memorial Home until the time of his death.
Gil was the final remaining sibling in his family, and was preceded in death by his wife Phyllis, brother Melford, sister Irene Musgrove and sister Helen Palmer.
Survivors include the following:
Daughter Linda Winkler (Gordon); their children Dave (Laura) and grandchildren Beau and Addie; Dan (Melissa) and grandchildren Grant and Olivia; and John (Heather) and granddaughter Vivian
Son Rick (Anne) and their children Matt and Steve
Son Chuck (Darla) and their children Ian and Sean
Son Dave (Lisa) and their children Hannah and Hunter
Sister-in-law Kay Krenik (Earl)