Harold LeRoy Johnson was born April 27, 1927 in Amery, Wisconsin. His parents Roy and Thora Johnson made their home in Lemington, WI until his father passed away when he was just 6 years old. The family then moved to St. Croix Falls to be closer to extended family. Harold attended school in St. Croix Falls and graduated in 1944, at age 17. He was drafted into the United States Navy where he served as a mechanic during WWII. He was honorably discharged in 1946 at the war's end.
A blind date brought Delores "Carol" Johnson into his life. Soon after, they were married and later had two daughters, Dawna and LuAnn. Harold had a passion and an intrinsic drive for the small business world. He started several businesses, mostly in the local area. They built a Mobile Service Station in Amery, and then the City Cab Company in Moorhead, MN. After the birth of their two daughters, they made Amery, WI their home for 16 years. During that time, they ran three businesses simultaneously. These included a Sears Catalog store, an auto parts store and Johnson-Anderson Construction Company. In 1979, they purchased the Dalles House Motel in St. Croix Falls, WI. This was his favorite venture of all. He loved every aspect of the motel business and his "Dalles House Family" of employees. This adventure brought Harold and Carol back to St. Croix Falls, where they ultimately completed their lives.
Harold and Carol were blessed with 65 years together. She was the love of his life. She was by his side through the business successes and challenges alike. Together they loved to go on road trips, visiting family and friends along the way and enjoying his other passion, old cars. He collected and sold many throughout his life. His favorite being his '31 Model A Ford.
During retirement, Harold enjoyed flying in his Piper Cherokee aircraft. A quick review of his log book detailed his excitement to share this hobby with family, friends and employees. There is an expansive list of places that he and his plane had gone. He would grab anyone that was interested to ride along. The most traveled passengers were without a doubt, his six grandchildren.
Harold used a lifetime of experience and skills to help others. His love of construction, mechanical talents and leadership by example made him the first call when problems occurred. He was a man of few words, but everyone that knew him, also knew that when he did have something to say, his words were full of wisdom and sound advice. He often minced that advice with a dry sense of humor. Family, friends and employees alike, described him as a very generous soul who got great joy from helping others. He was a jack of all trades; there wasn't anything he couldn't fix or wouldn't tackle.
His greatest accomplishment in his journey was keeping his strong Christian faith, which he and Carol put above all else. His favorite signature scripture verse was "As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord." (Joshua 24:15). It was evident in his marriage, the way he raised his children, his priorities in church and how he cared for others. He led by example, proving that living a God pleasing life brought great rewards and success.
He is preceded in death by his wife, Carol; parents Roy and Thora Johnson, sister Beatrice Johnson, and brother Dale Johnson. He is survived by his brother Norman (Barb) Johnson, daughters Dawna (Roger) Peterson and LuAnn (Larry) Chelberg; grandchildren Landon (Kelly) Peterson, Chris (Emily) Chelberg, Laura (Khalid) Benkhadra, Ryan (Eimile) Chelberg, Michael Chelberg, Alicia (Landen) Strilzuk; great-grandchildren Landon, Ethan, Kelsey, Oliver , Dahlia, Teagan and Magnolia and many in-laws, nieces and nephews.
Harold will be laid to rest next to Carol, in the St. Croix Falls Cemetery in his beloved St. Croix Falls, WI . At his request, his funeral service will be private. A public visitation will be held at Kolstad Funeral Home in Centuria, WI on Sunday, October 20, 2019 from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m.
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