William Arthur Johnson

July 15, 1927 ~ August 23, 2018 (age 91)

William Arthur “Bill” Johnson of Sun City Center, Florida and previously of Naples, Florida and Wayzata, Minnesota, died August 23, 2018. He was 91

Bill was born in Heron Lake, Minnesota on July 15, 1927 to Angene and Arthur Johnson.  He lived for most of his childhood in nearby Windom among extended family.  After spending a couple of years in San Diego with his parents during World War II, he graduated from Windom High School. He loved athletics, especially track and basketball.

After graduation, Bill enlisted in the Navy just as the war was ending.  Upon honorable discharge, he joined his only sibling, elder sister Delores, at Concordia College in Moorhead, Minnesota where he graduated with a Degree in Biology in 1949.  He met his future wife Lois Eileen Vikan of Bottineau, North Dakota at Concordia, and they were married later that year.

Lois and Bill made their first home in New York Mills, Minnesota where Bill coached high school track and basketball and taught Biology. Their family grew quickly with the births of Todd William, Daniel Arthur and Nancy Joan. While in New York Mills, he began his 32 year career with the Lutheran Brotherhood Life Insurance Company.  He became the General Agent for the company in the Litchfield, Minnesota area by 1957. In 1963, the family moved to Wayzata, Minnesota where he became the General Agent for the greater Minneapolis area. He led his agency to become Lutheran Brotherhood’s top agency nearly every year until his retirement in 1988.  He took pride in his work with Lutheran Brotherhood and many of his colleagues became lifelong friends.

While in Wayzata, Bill and Lois’s youngest child, Elizabeth Claire was born, completing their family.

Sadly, early in 1969, Lois passed away.  Bill soon found the second love of his life, Joanne Rider, and they were married later that year. Joanne was a wonderful mother and wife, dearly loved by Bill’s family and friends until her passing in 2014.

Upon his retirement in 1988, Bill and Joanne set off on an enviable 26 year retirement together, enjoying their homes in Wayzata and Naples and their lake home on Lac Courte Oreilles in Wisconsin. They spent their retirement enjoying their grandchildren and pursuing their joint passions for travel and golf.  He especially enjoyed exploring his Norwegian heritage and had great love for his Norwegian relatives with whom he was able to visit several times, both in the US and Norway.

Bill achieved many great things in business and life.  But his greatest joy was the relationship he had with his extended family, his dear friends, the family and home he made, and the grandchildren he was blessed with.  His children and grandchildren had no doubt that he loved them and was dedicated to their success and happiness.  He taught by words and example invaluable life lessons such as perseverance, diligence, foresight, a vision for one’s life and love and loyalty for friends and family. He also passed on a love for sweets and his dry, sometimes obscure sense of humor.

Bill was preceded in death by his parents Angene and Arthur, his sister Delores Onkka (Rev. Robert) and his wives Lois and Joanne.  He is survived by his children Todd (Shawn), Daniel (Margaret Brophy), Nancy Chambers (Matt)  and Elizabeth (Doug Domenick) and his grandchildren Kelsey and Peter Johnson (Todd), Angene and Augusta Johnson (Daniel), Will and Krista Carlson (Nancy), Inga and Ellis Domenick (Elizabeth), and his nieces and nephews.

Bill will be laid to rest in a private graveside service. There will be a visitation at 10:00 am on Thursday August 30, 2018 at St. Philip the Deacon Lutheran Church, 17205 County Road 6, Plymouth, MN, followed by a service at 11:00 and reception after.

In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to the William A. Johnson Scholarship Fund at Concordia College, Moorhead, Minnesota.

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