James “Jim” Johnson, age 88, of Litchfield, passed away Wednesday, Jan. 25, 2017, at Meeker Manor Rehabilitation Center in Litchfield.
He was born July 22, 1928, in Greenleaf Township, Meeker County, the son of LeRoy and Ruth (Anderson) Johnson. James was baptized as an infant, and later confirmed in his faith at the Mission Covenant Church in Minneapolis.
He received his education in Litchfield, graduating with the Litchfield High School class of 1947; and furthered his education by attending UCLA and USC in Los Angeles, CA.
James entered active military service in the US Navy Dec. 3, 1950, and was stationed in California. He was honorably discharged Dec. 2, 1954, as a seaman.
Jim was united in marriage to Dorothy M. Johnson June 16, 1950. They shared 25 years of marriage, and were blessed with three daughters, LeNan, Kerri, and Jill.
In 1953, Jim moved to Inglewood, CA, to work in the booming aerospace industry. After working for other people as an engineer, he started his own company, Johnson Technical, job shopping for numerous corporations. Jim ventured out into designing and manufacturing custom displays, mobile offices, and showrooms.
He was a reserve policeman for the Inglewood Police Department for many years, and was also an active member of Holy Faith Church.
Jim moved to Thousand Oaks, CA in 1963. He was involved in the Equestrian Trails organizations, where he and his girls showed horses and competed in Gymkhana events. He often won the figure-8 trailer backing contests. Jim also had the privilege to ride horses with the former governor, Ronald Reagan on the Reagan ranch.
In 1991, Jim moved to Litchfield.
He was a great salesman and enjoyed driving, buying, and sometimes selling cars. Jim loved big, old cars like Cadillacs.
He appreciated nice clothing and was always well-dressed. Light-hearted and gregarious, Jim always had a joke ready to tell.
He is survived by two daughters, LeNan Thompson and her husband, Rod, of Livingston, TX, and Jill Johnson of Maricopa, CA; siblings Dan Johnson and his wife, Betty, of Litchfield, Jean Brown and her husband, Bill of New Brighton, and David Johnson and his wife, Myra, of Litchfield; nieces, nephews, other relatives, and many friends.
James was preceded in death by his parents, LeRoy and Ruth Johnson; daughter Kerri Joy Johnson; former wife and longtime friend, Dorothy M. Johnson; and son-in-law Art Steinbek.
Memorial services took place Friday, Feb. 3 at 2 p.m. at First Evangelical Lutheran Church in Litchfield. The Rev. Tom Evenson officiated at the services; organist was Bea Devereaux; and Julie Bredeson was the soloist. Congregational hymns were “Beautiful Savior,” and “Eternal Father.” Military honors were given by the Litchfield Military Honor Guard.
A celebration of Jim’s life will take place, along with interment, in the spring for daughters and other family members.
Arrangements are with the Hantge Funeral Chapel in Darwin. Online obituaries and guest book are available at www.hantge.com.