Col. Kenneth R. Johnson, USMC, ret., age 90, of Alexandria, died on Monday, May 13, 2019, at the Minnesota Veterans Home in Fergus Falls.
A funeral service will be held at 11 a.m., Monday, May 20, 2019, at the Living Word Lutheran Church in Alexandria officiated by Pastor AJ Kluver. Music is provided by pianist, Nancy Anderson and vocalist, Richard Erickson. Interment is 11 a.m., Tuesday, May 21, at Fort Snelling National Cemetery, assembly area 5, in Minneapolis with full military honors.
Visitation is one hour prior to the service at the church.
Kenneth Roger was born on February 15, 1929, to Julian and Alma (Enger) Johnson in Madison, Minnesota. Ken’s early years were in Madison, but he moved with his family to Minneapolis where he graduated from Edison High School. He then went on to Macalester College earning his Bachelor’s Degree in Science. He met his future wife Lenore as a lab assistant for one of her classes. They married on June 27, 1953, after Ken returned from his military tour in the Korean War. He had begun his long career in the Marine Corps with ROTC in college and finished in the Reserves, for a total of 43 years. His greatest satisfaction, he would say, was being in the Marine Corps. His job career began as a cereal chemist with Peavey Co. moving up the ladder to eventually become a Production Manager with ConAgra Corporation. The move took him all over the country including Minneapolis; Alton, Illinois; Buffalo, New York; and Kalama, Washington. During those years he was an active volunteer in many civic organizations including; Sons of Norway, The Shriners, United Way, Rotary International and Kiwanas. The American Lutheran Church was an important part of Ken’s life. He also served as President of one of the largest congregations in the Twin Cities, Westwood Lutheran Church, in the early 60’s. Before his career took off, he made time to work with his son, Brian, in AAU Youth Swimming Programs. Growing up in Minnesota, Ken always loved the lakes. He retired to the Alexandria community on Lake Le Homme Dieu. As his grandsons described him, “A stand-up character, who was the sort of stoic, reliable man that you rarely see anymore.”
He is preceded in death by his son, Todd Allen Johnson, age 4; parents; wife, Lenore Aileen; and brother, Curt.
Ken is survived by his son, Brian (Joyce) of Pensacola, Floria; two granddaughters, Lynn (Jason) Kermer of Aurora, IL and Kate Johnson of Chicago, Illinois; two grandsons, Todd Johnson of Tallinn, Estonia and Tyler Johnson of Chicago, Illinois; three great-grandchildren Haley, Makayla, and Jacob Kermer; along with many nieces and nephews.
Memorials preferred to Shriners Hospitals for Children.