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Harold Johnson

May 10, 1913-Aug. 28, 2010

Harold S. Johnson, 97, of Detroit Lakes died Saturday, August 28, 2010 at Emmanuel Nursing Home in Detroit Lakes, under the care of hospice.

The youngest child of Harold J. and Sina Johnson, Harold was born on the farm in Hereim Township, Greenbush, Minn., on May 10, 1913. He was baptized and confirmed as a member of the Bethlehem Lutheran Church. He attended grade school at the Gavick School, graduated from Greenbush High School in 1932, and attended North Dakota State University for a year and a half.

On December 31, 1937 Harold was united in marriage to Carol Keuhn at her parents' home in Lind Township, rural Greenbush. They lived and farmed in Hereim Township.

In the 1950s Harold also worked for Minnesota Farmers Union, organizing and speaking at meetings. During this time he brought the idea of government loans for college students to Farmers Union locals throughout northwestern Minnesota. With this support, his idea was presented to United States Representative Coya Knutson, who introduced the bill in Congress. This became the National Defense Education Act in 1958 and was effective June 1959. The passage of this bill and the fact that all five of their children graduated from college and became teachers was always a source of pride to him.

In 1959, while he was working for Central Exchange, now Cenex, Harold and Carol moved to Alexandria, Minn., and then to Detroit Lakes in 1961. After retiring Harold returned to his love of the land, and also, it seemed, a love of picking rocks on the "eighty" that had been his father's near Greenbush during the summers. He finally quit picking rocks and rented out the land, but mowed grass and raised a garden until 2006.

Harold and Carol continued living in their Detroit Lakes home until February 2009, when they moved to assisted living. In March 2010 Harold entered the Emmanuel Nursing Home.

Harold was an avid deer hunter, hunting with friends at a younger age, later with his wife, and then with his son and grandsons until 2005.

Surviving Harold are Carol, his wife of 72 years; children, Myrna Johnson of Greenbush, Minn., Gerald (Pearl) Johnson of Crookston, Minn., Sharon (David) Hanson of Seattle, Wash., Bonnie (John) Nordstrom of Pelican Rapids and Janine (David) Schneider of Detroit Lakes; 11 grandchildren; 18 great grandchildren; two great-great grandchildren; and many nieces and nephews.

Preceding him in death were his granddaughter, Carol Lynn Sovde; all his Berger and Holand cousins; and all six siblings, J. Theo, Hilda Carolyn, Dinus, Roy, Ruth Johnson and Selma Brown.

Visitation will be from 5 to 7 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 2 at the West-Kjos Funeral Home in Detroit Lakes, with a prayer service at 6:30 p.m.

Funeral services are set for 10 a.m. Friday, Sept. 3 at First Lutheran Church in Detroit Lakes.

Interment will take place at 3:30 p.m. Friday in Bethel Lutheran Cemetery, Greenbush, Minn.

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