Clifford A. Johnson, of Grasston, died on Wednesday, January 12, 2011 at Abbott Northwestern Hospital in Mpls. He was 91 years old.
FUNERAL SERVICES will be held at 11:00 AM on Saturday, January 15th at Hope Lutheran Church in Grasston with Rev. Herman Bakker presiding.
VISITATION will be 2 hours (from 9:00-11:00 AM) prior to the service on Saturday at the church.
INTERMENT will be at Oakwood Cemetery in Mora.
Clifford A. Johnson was born November 12, 1919, in Grass Lake Township, to Axel and Elizabeth (Dietriche) Johnson. He was the second of three children. Cliff’s mother died when he was 6 years old; he and his sisters overcame the difficult situation
with many amazing and amusing adventures. He attended McKinley country school until 8th grade. There he met his future wife. After completing 8th grade, Cliff worked on various farms in Minnesota and the Dakotas. He joined the Civilian Conservation Corps and stayed at CCC camps in Northern Minnesota.
In 1941, he was drafted into the United States Army. He served for 4 years, and was stationed in the Aleutian Islands, Alaska, then France and Germany.
After leaving the service in 1945, he was united in marriage to his childhood neighbor and friend, Elizabeth Marie Becker, on June 23, 1946 at the Hillman Baptist Church. The couple was blessed with three children, Gary, Lennie and Linda. After serving his country, Cliff worked for his brother-in-law, Gunnard Hornquist, at Hornquist’s Garage in Dalbo as a mechanic. Then in the early fifties, Cliff and Beth moved to Warman and opened the Warman Store. They ran the store for 3 years until the family moved to Mora, and Cliff began his own carpentry business. During his carpentry career Cliff built an astonishing 42 homes and several businesses in the Mora area. It was during this time that Cliff built their home on Mud Lake near Quamba, where the family has had many wonderful memories. In 1969, Cliff and Beth opened Cliff’s Market in Grasston, which he operated until 1978. During that time, they made their home in Grasston. He was also employed by the City of Grasston for many years. He did various jobs, such as sewer and water maintenance, liquor store manager and cemetery care taker. Cliff was the co-founder of the Grasston Lions Club. He was the first president in 1974, and served as treasurer for 18 years. He was an active member until 1998. He was responsible for starting the Grasston Lions Potato Sausage Feed, which used and still uses his original recipe.
Besides the Lions Club, Cliff was a member of the Mora Conservation Club, Hope Lutheran Church and a Grass Lake Township Fire Warden.
Cliff was an avid outdoorsman. He loved hunting and fishing, and spent many days during his retired years fishing with his wife, Beth. He always had a fish tale to tell. He also loved spending time with his family. He always had a funny story or a silly smirk, and he forever kept his family and friends entertained. His grandchildren and great-grandchildren loved spending time at Grandpa and Grandma J’s. Clifford was a wonderful man and he will be dearly missed by all who knew him. He touched many lives with his quick wit, hard work and humor.
He was preceded in death by his parents, three infant children, and grandson, Jack Johnson.
He is survived by his wife, of 64 years, Beth; sons, Gary (Jackie) and Lennie (Shelly); daughter, Linda (Terry) Pierson; sisters, Agnes Hornquist and Julia (Dick) Loberg; grandchildren, Gary Lee, Michelle, Dale, Kelli, Brett, Lana, Jesse,
Mandy, and Amber; great-grandchildren, Jackob, Tyler, Hayle, Hayden, Gage, and Brylee; and many nieces, nephews, other relatives, in-laws, and friends.
Funeral services were held on Saturday, Jan. 15th at Hope Lutheran Church in Grasston. Rev. Herman Bakker officiated. Music was provided by Rhonda Swanson. Pallbearers: Gary Lee Johnson, Dale Johnson, Brett Johnson, Tyler Maag, Brian Maag, Jerry Black, Scott Erickson and Aric Stegeman. Honorary Pallbearers: Jackob Maag, Hayden Johnson, Gage Johnson, Hayle Johnson & Brylee Johnson.