Thomas L. Johnson, 70

Thomas Lynn Johnson, age 70, of Buffalo, formerly of Dassel, died Sunday, May 26, 2019, at his farm near Cokato.

His funeral service will take place Saturday, June 1 at 1 p.m. at the Gethsemane Lutheran Church in Dassel with the Rev. Laurie O’Shea officiating.

There will be a visitation Friday, May 31 from 5 to 7 p.m. at the Johnson Funeral Home in Dassel. Visitation will continue Saturday at the church, one hour prior to the service.

Thomas was born March 15, 1949, in Litchfield, the son of Richard and Kathryn (Kildaw) Johnson. He grew up in the Dassel area, where he was baptized and confirmed at the First Lutheran Church in Dassel.

Following graduation from Dassel High School in 1967, Tom attended Willmar Technical College, before completing his education at Mankato State University, earning a degree in civil engineering.

Thomas had a very successful professional career that started with Meeker County Parks. He held other positions with various county parks before he started his career as a highway engineer, working for the Minnesota Department of Transportation. He was also employed by Metro Transit, Smith Parker, and Hay Dobbs, where he was a project manager and provided consulting services.

Tom loved a challenge, and dedicated his life to making transportation and urban design work seamlessly with personal and public transportation. He had been involved with many important transportation projects in the metro area, and had the ability to make a complex concept understandable to everyone. Tom was a dedicated public servant, who loved his job and the people he worked with.

Tom enjoyed spending time on his farm, where he raised brown Swiss cattle. He loved the land, and enjoyed mentoring the young men that worked on his farm – and he was dearly loved in return. He believed in doing a good day’s work and doing it the best way possible.

Family was important to Tom, and he would always attend his grandchildren’s sporting events, concerts, and dance recitals. He also enjoyed spending time attending family events and holiday gatherings.

He was very proud of his children and all their accomplishments, and was a devoted father, grandfather, brother and friend. Tom always had time to have a quick conversation with someone. He could walk into a room knowing no one, and walk out of the room having made the acquaintance of half the people there. He will be missed by his family and his friends.

Tom is survived by his significant other, Diana Korpela of Buffalo; daughters Melanie (Peter) Fox, Sarah (Scott) Shewmake, all of New Brighton; Diana’s children, Katie (Kyle) Golby of Maple Lake, and Kelli Fehn of Monticello; grandchildren Corbin, Mitchell, Sawyer, Sadler, Kelsey, Ellie, and Eli; his brother, Rick (Marcia) Johnson of Dassel; sister-in-law Kim Benson-Johnson of Roseville; and several nieces, nephews, and other relatives and friends.

He was preceded in death by his parents, Richard and Kathryn Johnson; and a brother, David Johnson.

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