George M. Johnson, 86 of Thief River Falls, MN passed away on Friday, May 25, 2018 at Sanford Medical Center, Thief River Falls, MN.
Funeral service will be held on Saturday, June 2, 2018 at 2:30 PM at the Evangelical Covenant Church in Thief River Falls, MN with Reverend Bert Foster Officiating.
George Minard Johnson was born September 29, 1931 son of George E. and Marie (Stenvold) Johnson in Thief River Falls, MN. He began his education in the country school Pleasant View #234, Trail, Gonvick, and Oklee graduating in 1950.
George was united in marriage to Carla Loiland on November 14, 1954 at Valle Lutheran Church. They started their married life in Chester Township, Polk County, MN. To this union four sons were born Richard, Roger, Rodney and Jeffrey.
George and his wife Carla farmed livestock and grain, along with raising their four mischievious boys! He also worked on the pipeline and at the sugar beet plant in Crookston. He and his partner Darrow Lundeen were Minn esota pioneers of raising Wild Rice. Together they were the master builders of whatever equipment was needed.
George and Carla learned the real estate business in Oklee before moving in 1991 and starting the Century 21 franchise in Thief River Falls. They also ran Grandma and Grandpas daycare for 12 years and were caregivers to Kyle Sveum. Caring for Kyle was one of the greatest joys in George’s life. During this time, they also ran a safe house for battered women and children. Later in life, George was visited by a man that stated he had saved his family’s lives by taking them in and caring for them when he was a young boy! There was never anyone turned away. They did this to make people’s lives better and expected nothing in return.
George worked at Wells Fargo in the evenings until April 11, 2018 when he retired.
Throughout his life, he was an incredible mentor to not only his sons, but others he had touched with his caring heart. He was an example of hard work and putting others before himself. His volunteer experience included active fellow in the Shriners, a lifetime member of the Valle Church, and too many farm organizations to mention. He was President of the Lions Club in Oklee and was active at the Evangelical Covenant Church in Thief River Falls. During his free time, he would deliver Meal-on-Wheels and volunteer at the local food shelf. He spent Sunday’s after church going to various communities to visit with the elderly and spread the word of God through copies of Pastor Bert’s sermons.
George is survived by, 4 sons: Richard (Janet) Centuria,WI, Roger (Tammi), Yantis, TX, Rod (Toni), Oklee, Jeff (Pam), 10 grandchildren, Cory (Kristina) Johnson, Benji (Val) Johnson, Dustin (Trisha) Johnson, Vicki (Andy) Knotz,, Jami (Brian) Sloan, Kari (Josh) Smith, Katie Johnson (friend Dustin Grimsley), Tyler Johnson, Seth Johnson, and Marie Johnson, step-grandchildren Cassandra (Trevor) Leseman, Dustin (Jess) Knutson, Lee (Kayla) Knutson, 11 great grandchildren, Anneka, Lane, Sammy (Benjamin) Griffin, Tony, Tyler, Cody, Ashton, Gavin, Lauryn, Lucy, Malia, Bella, Avery, step-great-grandchildren Timothy Torgerson, Kassidy Torgerson, Ashlynn Knutson and Theo Knutson, great-great-grandson Benjamin Jr. sister-in-law Joanne (Vernon) Voeltz, Elaine Loiland, Verna Loiland along with one niece, several nephews and great-nieces and nephews, and other family and friends.
He is preceded in death by his wife Carla (Loiland) Johnson, parents George E. and Marie Johnson, brother-in-law Gordon Loiland and nephew Ronald Voeltz.