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David A. Johnson, 81

On the evening of July 8, 2013, David Johnson passed away unexpectedly at his home on Tainter Lake.

Dave was born on Sept. 5, 1931, in Alborn, Minn. He lived with his family on a small farm north of Duluth. He graduated from North St. Paul High School in 1949. After attending school for a year at the University of Minnesota, he enlisted in the U.S. Air Force. He served 4 years in the USAF as a radio mechanic. He returned to attend college and pursue a degree in industrial arts at UW-Stout. During this time he met the love of his life, Sonja Herried. They married in Eau Claire, Wis., on Dec. 28, 1956. Dave and Sonnie moved to Pepin, Wis., where he began his teaching career at Pepin High School. He taught 1 year in Augusta and then, in 1962, they moved to Menomonie where he was a guidance counselor at Menomonie Jr.-Sr. High School. Dave returned to UW-Stout to earn a second master's degree in school psychology and worked for CESA #6, Eau Claire schools, and Menomonie schools, where he retired in 1989. In retirement, he and Sonnie enjoyed traveling throughout the United States, visiting 49 states. They especially enjoyed Yellowstone National Park, visiting there 9 times.

Dave's family always came first and he was well loved in return. He enjoyed camping, fishing, and hunting with his wife, daughter Jane, and son Steve. Later he cherished spending time with his three grandchildren, David, Kaitlin, and Mitch. Fishing trips to Canada, camping in Hayward, and time spent at the cabin allowed Dave tell lots of stories and build strong relationships with them. Time spent around the campfire at the cabin near Birchwood was best. In his retirement, he and Sonnie enjoyed watching their grandchildren in all of their activities. Dave enjoyed the company of many faithful Labradors throughout his life. Dave will be remembered as an amazing husband, dad, and grandpa.

Helping others was very important to Dave, and he was a loyal volunteer in many organizations. He and Sonnie delivered Meals on Wheels for Dunn County, and he volunteered as a coordinator for the American Red Cross. They were members of the United Methodist Church in Menomonie for more than 50 years. He was a member of the Menomonie Masonic Lodge #164 and was a past Master. He was a member in the Scottish Rite-Valley of Eau Claire, the Mehara Shrine Club (past President) and Zor Temple in Madison. He was a member of the Tin Lizzies parade crew, traveling to local parades to raise funds for the Shrine Hospital in St. Paul. For years he volunteered to transport area children to the Shrine Hospitals in St. Paul and Chicago. He found great joy in helping children and especially loved seeing their smiles when they were able to walk and run following orthopedic surgeries.

Dave is survived by his loving wife, Sonnie of Menomonie; a daughter and her husband, Jane and Dan Webb of River Falls, and a son, Steve Johnson of Menomonie; three grandchildren, David, Kaitlin, and Mitchell Webb. Dave also has six nieces and nephews.

Dave was preceded in death by his father, Arthur Johnson; mother Grace (Dinwiddie) Johnson; sisters Minerva Jipson and Gloria Way.

Funeral services will be held at 11 a.m. Tuesday, July 16, at United Methodist Church in Menomonie, with Pastor Don Gribble officiating. There will be visitation from 4-7 p.m. Monday at Olson Funeral Home in Menomonie, with a Masonic service at 7 p.m. There will also be visitation at the church 1 hour prior to the service on Tuesday. Burial will be in Evergreen Cemetery in Menomonie.

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