James "Jim" R. Johnson, age 81, of Grove City, MN, died on Friday, February 22, 2013, in Litchfield, MN. A funeral service will be held at 11:00 AM on Tuesday, February 26, 2013 at Trinity Lutheran Church in Grove City, MN. Visitation will be held from 5:00 - 8:00 PM on Monday at Trinity Lutheran Church in Grove City, MN and will continue one hour prior to the service on Tuesday at church. Interment will be held at First Lutheran Church in Grove City, MN. Military Honors will be provided by the Litchfield Military Honor Guard. In lieu of flowers memorials are preferred.
James Roland Johnson, son of Sam and Mabel Johnson, was born on August 21, 1931 in Litchfield, MN. Jim was baptized and confirmed at Immanuel Lutheran Church in Grove City, MN. He attended grade school at District #37 and graduated from Grove City High School in 1949. Jim worked as a farm hand for his brother Chester until January of 1952 when he joined the United States Air Force. He spent two years overseas in the Far East Command as a member of the 68th Fighter Interceptor Squadron. After serving his Military commitment, he was separated from the Air Force on November 14, 1955. In the spring of 1956 Jim started farming the home farm and continued to do this until 2011 when illness forced him to quit. Besides farming, Jim worked for Reinke Manufacturing for many years. On September 7, 1957 Jim married Arlene Joyce Nelson. While raising the three children, Arlene assisted Jim with many of the farm tasks. Jim served on the following local boards: Meeker County Variance Board, Grove City School Board, First Lutheran and Trinity Lutheran Church Councils and also various committees at both churches. He was Secretary of the Acton Gennessee Mutual Insurance Company and West Central Mutual Insurance Companies Boards of Directors, and Vice President of the Grove City Community Homes Board of Directors. He was a member of Grove City VFW Post #934 and after Post #934 disbanded he became a life Member of Litchfield VFW Post #2818 and was also a member of Litchfield American Legion Post #104. For eleven years he served as the Adjutant of VFW Post #2818. He was the VFW Post #2818 representative for POW/MIA affairs. He enjoyed helping the families of the POW/MIAs and assisted them with their desire to achieve closure. Jim was an active member of the Honor Guards of both VFW Post #2818 and Legion Post #104 as he served at many local Veterans Funerals. When the Honor Guards of both posts combined to form the Litchfield Military Honor Guard, he continued to participate at Veteran's Funerals. For three years he served as the Secretary Treasurer of the Litchfield Military Honor Guard. In the early 1990s he began contacting former members of his overseas Fighter Squadron and in 1995 they had their first Reunion at Denver, CO. After that reunion they had a reunion every other year at the following locations: Las Vegas, NV, Dayton, OH, Valdosta, GA, Branson, MO, Dayton, OH, Oklahoma City and Branson, MO. Jim enjoyed spending time with his family. He also loved Collie dogs. He was an avid sports fan and followed the local pro teams, plus college and high school athletics. He enjoyed going to town and having coffee with the local retirees. He studied WW2 and Korean War History and used this knowledge to assist the POW/MIA families.
Jim is survived by his wife Arlene of Grove City, MN; children, David (and wife Lori) Johnson of Elk River, MN, Marcia (and husband Ed) Droege of Coon Rapids, MN, and Melissa (and husband Bill) Casey of River Falls, WI; 6 grandchildren, Evan Johnson, Lance Johnson, Alec Droege, Kyle Droege, Erin Casey and Alison Casey; brother Chester (and wife Elaine) Johnson of Atwater, MN; sister-in-law June (and husband John) Brabec of Sedona, AZ; brother-in-law, Boyd (and wife Barb) Nelson of Faribault, MN; and nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his parents; sister Florence Driver; infant siblings, David and Doris Johnson; father and mother-in-law Alfred and Helen Nelson; stepmother-in-law Mae Nelson; and nieces Laura Johnson and Linda Servin.
Read James 'Jim' Johnson's Obituary and Guestbook on www.johnsonhagglund.com.