Roger Johnson - Brookings

July 1, 1945 - June 30, 2019

Roger A. Johnson, 73, of Brookings, formerly of Pipestone, MN, passed away Sunday, June 30, 2019, at the VA Hospital in Sioux Falls. 

Funeral services will be held at 11 a.m. Wednesday, July 3, 2019, at Rude’s Funeral Home in Brookings. A 2 p.m. graveside service will be held at the Old Woodlawn Cemetery in Pipestone, MN. Visitation will be from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. Tuesday at Rude’s Funeral Home in Brookings.

 Roger Arend Johnson was born July 1, 1945, in Volga,  to Arend and Helen (Torgrude) Johnson. He grew up on a farm south of Lake Preston. He attended the Evergreen Country School until the family moved to Arlington,  where he completed the 5th grade. Back in Lake Preston, he continued his education until 1962 when he enlisted in the Navy. 

While in the Navy he completed the GED course. He served aboard the LST USS Whitfield Country 1169, traveling in and out of Vietnam many times bringing Marines and barrels of Agent Orange. Several times he was in charge of steering the ship earning him the title of Bosuns Mate. Sometimes the waves were so high there were huge barrels of crackers on deck for the seasick sailors. 

His adventures were many as he visited Yokosuka, Japan, Thailand, Taipai, Formosa, Hawaii, Alaska, and many other ports of call. While he was based in San Diego, CA he was on the Honor Guard during John F. Kennedy’s visit where he got to see the president up close. They also performed in many parades in the San Diego area. 

He left the Navy with an honorable discharge on April 1, 1966.

Back at home, he worked in Lake Preston before moving to Sioux Falls to work at John Morrell. He met Julie Moe at the Barrel Drive-in in August of 1966 and they were married March 4, 1967. Their son, Ryan Roger, was born in Huron, Nov. 12, 1969. Their daughter, Melissa Carol, was born Sept. 19, 1972, in Pipestone, MN. 

Their daughter, Shannon Sue, was born in Pipestone on Nov. 29, 1974. While in Pipestone, Roger worked as an appliance repair man for Bunkers Hardware before becoming a Deputy Sheriff on January 1, 1975, a position he held for 20 ½ years retiring in July 1995. Then he worked at the new McDonalds restaurant in Pipestone doing maintenance until radiation treatments for Prostate Cancer forced him to quit in 2008. In August, 2013 Roger and Julie moved to Brookings, where they still reside. Roger passed away from cancer on June 30, 2019, one day before his 74th birthday, at the VA Hospital in Sioux Falls.

 He is so loved and will be truly missed by Julie, his wife of 52 years; his son Ryan (Elida) Johnson of Sioux Falls, daughter Melissa (Ron) Nielsen of Monticello, MN, daughter Shannon (Keith) Richarz of Volga; his grandchildren Alec, Hayleigh, Wyatt, and Mason Johnson, Braden, Austin, and Christopher Nielsen,  Brianna and Tristan Richarz; his remaining siblings, Carol (Eudale) Ringgaard of Brookings, Dianne (Earl) Coovert of Rapid City, Delores Ross of Sunset, UT, and LeRoy Johnson of Hanna City, IL; and many nieces, nephews, and friends.

 He is preceded in death by; his daughter, Dana Lynn, born and died Feb. 28, 1967; his parents, grandparents, brothers (Gordon, Don, Bob Marlin), sisters (Arlene, Mavis, Phyllis, Beverly, and Virginia.)

 While serving in the Navy, Roger became friends with many fellow sailors who remain friends to this day; Bobby Lara, Mark Aguiluz, Dale Jones, Jeffrey Heanes, Ken Jasmer, Richard Jones, Roger Schwintosky.

“Fair winds and following seas.”

 Condolences may be sent to the family thought


More In Obituaries