Richard Mark (Dick) Johnson was born (January 31, 1928), in St. Cloud, Minnesota. His parents were Elmer D. Johnson and Ina B. (Potter) Johnson of East St. Cloud. He died Friday, October 2, 2020 at Regions Hospital, St. Paul, from congestive heart failure.
Dick attended the St. Cloud Public School District. He graduated from St. Cloud Technical High School in 1946. Soon after, he enlisted in the Army, serving at Fort Benning, Georgia, as a supply clerk. According to “Parachute Training,” St. Cloud Times, 10 April 1947, Pvt. Richard Mark Johnson earned the “right to wear the boots and wings” of the 82nd Airborne Division after completing parachute and glider training.
His service to his country also earned Dick the right to receive the GI Bill. He attended St. Cloud Teachers’ College, now St. Cloud State University, and earned a degree in forestry. Every summer, he worked in the paper mills on the west coast, learning the trade. He joined Hoerner-Waldorf/International Paper Industry in 1953, becoming superintendent of the pulp mill in 1966. He retired in 2003, yet he continued to serve as a consultant for the corporation.
On June 1, 1957, Dick married Juliann Grace Ferlein, daughter of Frederick Ferlein and Clara (Lehrer) of St. Paul.
Dick and Julie lived in Mendota Heights for 60 years. They were members of the Pilgrim Lutheran Church in St. Paul. They loved fishing and hunting, and went pheasant hunting for 43 years in South Dakota. From China, Germany, and most of the United States, Dick and Julie enjoyed traveling. For many years, they enjoyed their summers on their houseboat on the St. Croix where they belonged to the St. Croix Yacht Club, and Dick held the position of Commodore a number of times. Travel and retirement became their motto as they left Minnesota in January to join friends and family in Mesa, Arizona, for the winter.
On January 12, 2018, his wife of over sixty years, Julie, died. Dick sold his home and moved to The Waters of Highland Park in St. Paul where he enjoyed friendship with other residents and appreciated the good care he received from the staff who knew he always wanted soup for lunch, the evening “special” and ice cream with chocolate sauce for dessert.
Dick was also preceded in death by his parents; sisters, Winifred (Harold) Frank, Arlene (Ernest) Mohring, Roberta (Robert) Mrozek; and brothers, David, Edwin, and Robert (Joan) Johnson; niece, Bonnie Jo (Mrozek) Kron; and one great nephew, Timothy Johnson.
He leaves behind sixteen nieces and nephews, and many great nieces and nephews.
The memorial service will be held 11:00 am Saturday, Oct. 17, 2020, at ELMHURST CEMETERY, 1510 Dale St N, Saint Paul, MN 55117. Social distancing and masks are required. Livestream available on Dick’s obituary page at www.simpletraditions.com Cards and condolences may be mailed to The Family of Richard Johnson c/o Simple Traditions, 671 Snelling Ave S, St. Paul, 55116. Memorials may be sent to the Pilgrim Lutheran Church, 1935 St. Clair Ave., St Paul, MN.
To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Richard M. "Dick" Johnson, please visit our floral store.