Vernon F. Johnson, age 91, passed away on January 21, 2020.
Vern was born on April 11, 1928 in Taylors Falls, Minnesota. He grew up in the small town of Almelund, Minnesota with his parents, Joseph “Fred” and Betty, 2 brothers and 2 sisters. He attended a 2 room schoolhouse with 8 grades before graduating from North Branch High School in 1946. In his teenage years, Vern worked for a garage mechanic, thrashing crew, silo filing, creamery, and cement crew. Vern followed in his father’s footsteps, joining the US Army and with his gift for fixing anything, he moved from uncrating Jeeps to running the motor pools in Osaka, Japan during the occupation. Once back in the states, he enrolled in Dunwoody College of Technology. He took advanced courses at Detroit Diesel in Michigan, and worked for RUAN Leasing and Transport.
Vernon met Charlotte McCuaig at a dance in Forest Lake and the two were married in 1950. Together they had 3 children and made their home in Columbia Heights. In 1957 the family built a home in Fridley where they raised the family and were members of Gustavus Adolphus Church in Northeast Minneapolis. A new church was forming and Vern and Char became charter members of St. Philips Lutheran Church in Fridley, helping canvass the surrounding area and building membership. Vern was a member of the 9 committee at St. Philips twice, was active in ushering, served communion, helped manage money and assisted with bible study groups at church. He was also an Associate Scoutmaster and Explorer Adviser for 10 years for Troup #23 at St. Philips where he planned trips to the Boundary Waters for Boy Scouts, Explorers and father/son groups.
Vern enjoyed hunting, fishing, camping, golfing, and spending time at the family cabin on Sturgeon Lake. In later years, he and Char had a winter home in Florida. After selling their Fridley home to their daughter, the two moved to Applewood Pointe in New Brighton and Char passed away in 2015. Vern was blessed to have had so many years at St. Philips and meet so many wonderful people. He will be deeply missed.
Vern is preceded in death by his wife, Charlotte; his parents, and two infant grandchildren. He is lovingly remembered by sons, Mark (Debra) and Scott (Jean); daughter, Kara Ruwart (Tom); grandchildren, Kari, Erik, James, Brian (Ariela), Kaylene, and Thomas; great grandchildren, Kensington and Leo; and sister, Betty Lou (Milo) Oppegard.
A Celebration of Life will be held at 11AM with visitation one hour prior on Saturday, July 10, 2021 at St. Philips Lutheran Church, 6180 Highway 65 NE in Fridley.
Services will be livestreamed HERE on St. Philip's website, or on the St Philips Facebook page.