Curtis M. Johnson, age 86, of Zimmerman, passed away peacefully surrounded by his family and friends on July 9, 2012.
Curt was born and raised in Foreston. He left home as a young man to work the wheat fields. He served in the Pacific in WWII as a Navy cook. After the war he worked the power lines in the Dakotas.
He married Ruth Cornelius and raised two children. When they moved to Zimmerman, Curt built a house, a barn and a garage out of mostly salvaged materials. He and Ruth later enjoyed their retirement by traveling across the U.S. and Canada and by collecting and refinishing antiques. His last project was to repair an old blanket chest. His plane still sits on the top amongst the shavings.
Curt’s greatest gift to his family is that he instilled in them the importance of being kind, of listening with an open mind and heart, and of knowing that joy is derived from giving, not taking. His love for art, flowers and the beauty of nature is cherished by those he has left behind. His family will continue to give of themselves as he has taught them.
Curt is survived by his children Dr. Diane (Brian) Ruonavaara and Chris (Toni) Johnson; grandchildren Christie, Jodi, Matt, Sven, Zachary and Lafe; great-grandchildren Kelsey, Amber, Isaac, Sabrina, Andy, Gabe, Maty, Sayge and Cole. He is also survived by his brother Gordon Johnson; close friends Neil Sand, Randy Dehn and Joy Gombold and many nieces, nephews, relatives and friends.
Curt was preceded in death by his wife Ruth; sisters Lillian Hanson, Grace Musil, Bonnie St. Clair and Joy Malmquist.
His family and friends have been touched by a very special man. Carry his joy in your hearts and continue to share it with everyone you meet.
A memorial service will be held at 11 a.m., Saturday, July 28 at Dare’s Funeral Home, 805 Main St. NW, Elk River.
Friends may gather one hour prior to the service at the funeral home.
The interment is private.
Memorials are preferred to the Nature Conservancy or Save the Children.