MINDORO — Gary R. Johnson, 61, of Mindoro passed away peacefully while surrounded by his close family Saturday, June 3, 2017. He fought hard in his short battle with cancer.
Gary was born in La Crosse, and was raised in Holmen. Growing up, he was very involved with both 4-H and the FFA. He graduated from Holmen High School in 1974. After marrying the love of his life, Karen, they moved to Mindoro. Gary was employed at the Farmer’s Co-Op in West Salem for many years before becoming the branch manager and mechanic at the Mindoro Farmer’s Co-Op, from which he retired after learning of his cancer diagnosis.
Gary enjoyed many pastimes, including wood working, gardening, fishing, road trips, driving his Allis-Chalmers tractor and spending time with his granddaughter, Grace. Gary was a jack-of-all-trades, and could build or fix just about anything. What Gary enjoyed most was giving back to others, whether it was helping a farmer in a field, to helping a young girl who locked herself out of her house — Gary would always go the extra mile for anyone in need. He loved to make everyone laugh. Gary had an arsenal of Ole and Lena jokes that everyone had heard a million times and many favorite “You might be a redneck if...” lines. He was always looking for a laugh and would especially do anything to get a smile out of his girls, Karen, Diana and Grace. Even in his final days, Gary never lost his sense of humor or ability to make people smile.
He is survived by his daughter, Diana Sue (Chad Hansen); granddaughter, Grace Diane; brothers, Steven B. (Gaye) Johnson of Holmen and Scott (Diana) Johnson of Tomah; sister, Diane (Paul) Jostad of Holmen; and many nieces and nephews and great-nieces and great-nephews.
Gary touched the lives of more than just his family and friends. The entire community of Mindoro will deeply miss him.
Gary was preceded in death by his wife of 41 years, Karen; his father, Bernard Johnson; mother, LaVerne Johnson; stepmother, Myrtle Johnson; and niece, Rebecca Jostad.
Funeral services will be at 1 p.m. Thursday, June 8, at Mindoro Lutheran Church, W3879 CTH DE, Mindoro. Pastor Kris Fahey will officiate. Private burial will follow in Halfway Creek Lutheran Cemetery. A visitation will be from 3 p.m. until 7 p.m. Wednesday, at Jandt-Fredrickson Funeral Home, Jostad Chapel, 121 N. Youlon St., West Salem, and from 11 a.m. until the time of service Thursday at the church. Online condolences may be sent at www.jandtfredrickson.com.