Cover photo for Ralph Johnson's Obituary
1935 Ralph 2020

Ralph Johnson

May 3, 1935 — March 1, 2020

Columbia Heights


Ralph William Johnson of Columbia Heights, MN, loving husband, father and grandfather, passed away peacefully on Sunday, March 1, 2020 at the age of 84.

Ralph was born on May 3, 1935 in Cannon Falls, Goodhue County, MN to John Johnson (also from Cannon Falls) and Anna Lind (originally from Rödön, Sweden). Ralph was the youngest of eight children, survived only by his brother Ken and sister Colleen (Joyce). After the passing of his parents when he was still a child, he and his siblings were raised on various farms and dairies located throughout Goodhue County, often separated from one another. It is here that Ralph gained his strong work ethic and many practical life skills that he would pass down to his children. It is also here in Goodhue County, known as “Swede Prairie”, that he would develop a pride for all things Swedish (even the lutefisk).


Ralph eventually settled into NE Minneapolis and spent the majority of his working years as a heavy equipment operator. As tiring as his day job was, he never backed down from helping friends and family with their own weekend warrior projects (not to mention building his own house!). He readily volunteered his time and talents to anything from building decks, pouring concrete, painting, landscaping, plumbing, electrical, and even building furniture in his basement woodworking shop.


In his later years he will be remembered for his love of animals, his sweet tooth, and the enjoyment he received from delivering a good one-liner or sneaking bad jokes into any conversation. The “critters” of Columbia Heights will forever be in his debt for the mountain of day-old bread and table scraps he set out for the birds, squirrels, foxes and racoons that he enjoyed watching from his living room window.


Ralph will be forever remembered by his devoted wife and best friend of 45 years, Corliss (née Rabeneck), his two sons Tracy (Jennifer) and Jason (Ginger), his daughter Kari (Isaac), his grandchildren Julia (Tony), David, Juna, Thomas, Dylan, Hugo, Holly and his great grandson Brandon. Now free of pain and at peace, he can be reunited with his parents and siblings who preceded him in death: Goldie, Marion, Floyd, Cliff and Al.


A celebration of Ralph’s life will take place on Thursday March 5, 2020 at 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. at St. Timothy Lutheran Church, 825 51st Avenue NE, Columbia Heights, MN 55421.


In lieu of flowers memorials preferred.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Ralph Johnson, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services

Memorial Gathering

Thursday, March 5, 2020

11:00am - 2:00 pm (Central time)

St. Timothy's Lutheran ChurchSt. Timothy's Lutheran Church

825 51st Ave NE, Columbia Heights, MN 55421

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