Gene Elmer Johnson, 71, died Saturday, June 4, 2011 at his own home, in HealthEast Hospice care, after a 10 month battle with pancreatic cancer.
Gene was born in Rush City, Minn. on April 12, 1940 to Elmer and Carol (Palmer) Johnson. After graduating from high school, he joined the U.S. Air Force and served for five years. He then joined the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) and worked for 30 years, in which he traveled and worked in over 100 countries. His hobbies included taking care of the “honey-do” lists, watching football and traveling. Gene will especially be remembered for his sense of humor and sharp wit. He had a way of making you laugh even in the midst of those troubles that come with regularity in our lives. Gene’s greatest enjoyment was spending time with family and especially his grandkids. His family will always treasure the memories of their many vacations “Up North” at their favorite resort (Edgewild) on Fox Lake, near Fifty Lakes, Minn.
Gene retired from the CIA on May 31, 1996 and responded to God’s call to return to his roots in Minnesota. Gene had a servant’s heart (John 12:26) always reaching out with kindness to those in need. His volunteer works included: installing Fairview Hospital Medical Alert Systems (Lifeline) for seniors, working at the information desk at Mpls/St. Paul International Airport, monitoring the neighborhood alert systems for Maplewood Emergency Management, and doing volunteer taxes for 10 years with AARP. He served Jesus well in his many tasks at the church.
He is survived by his wife of 46 years, Gloria; his two children, Jeffrey Johnson of Fairborn, Ohio, and Jodi (Bill) Funk of Woodbury, Minn.; two sisters, Jan Anderson of Bloomington, Bettie (Larry) Miller of Stillwater, Minn., one brother, Alan Johnson (Dorthy) of Rush City, Minn., three grandsons, Hunter Johnson, Ryan and Kolby Funk, and numerous nieces, nephews, cousins and in-law family members.
A Celebration of Life service is on Thursday, June 9 at Woodbury Lutheran Church (WLC) at 11 a.m. with visitation one hour prior to the service. A luncheon at the church will follow. Burial is scheduled for 2:15 p.m. at Cambridge Union Cemetery. Cambridge’s American Legion will offer military honors. A visitation will be held at Woodbury Lutheran Church (WLC) from 4 to 6 p.m. on Wednesday, June 8. Pallbearers will be Larry Miller, Dick Kveton, Ray Fiala, Don Arndt, Arnie Kaiser, Saturo Sudoh, Gary Erickson, Bill Funk, and Honorary Pallbearer Scott Richards.
Gene specifically asked that memorial’s in expression of sympathy be given to WLC to establish an Emergency Medical Fund. Arrangements are with the Carlson-Lillemoen Funeral Home and Cremation Services of Cambridge.