Harlan W. Johnson

October 17, 1947 ~ March 1, 2020 (age 72)


Harlan W. Johnson, age 72, of Luck, Wisconsin left this world on March 1, 2020 with his wife, Sherrie; son, Todd and daughter-in-law, Sara, at his side.  Harlan had a big heart, a gentle kindness and a good word for everyone.  He will be greatly missed by all who loved and knew him.  In lieu of flowers, the family prefers you please do a random act of kindness in Harlan’s memory.

On October 17, 1947 Harlan Wayne Johnson was born to Carol and Floyd Johnson of Little Chicago, Minnesota.  Harlan was the 5th child but the first and only son, and his seven sister’s favorite brother.  He attended Northfield High School, graduating in 1967.  After graduating high school Harlan worked as a truck driver for Webster, MN Co-op, 4 years; laborer and then supervisor for Thermo King Corporation, 14 years; stock clerk and mechanic for Northwest/Delta Airlines, 23 years; and finally shop superintendent for Access Lifts, 6 years.  He retired from the workforce in 2011 but continued to keep active right up until his illness in 2019.  It was at Thermo King where Harlan met Sherrie Oldenburg, the love of his life for 45 years.  They were married January 18, 1975. 

While pursuing their careers, Harlan and Sherrie made their homes in Webster, Bloomington, and Lilydale, Minnesota.  Their playground was at their Lake Home in Luck, Wisconsin.  After retirement they purchased 56 acres of land just “out of Luck”, built a home and moved full time to Luck, a community they love, with residents they cherish.  Harlan became active in the Luck Lions and the Luck Community Club.  He was always known to lend a hand whenever and wherever he was needed.

Harlan loved 4-wheeling and snowmobiling; gardening, landscaping, yard work and birds; fishing in Canada with Dick Simon, et al.; driving tractors; bonfires at the cabin and “Sher-n-Dipity Park”, meeting friends in town  and cabin life.  He spent time building ATV trails and bridges for ATV trails.  Harlan could drive and fix anything and engineer many things.   He was an excellent sheet metal man, a good mechanic, an expert welder.

Harlan and Sherrie loved exploring together in the USA, Germany, Russia, Tanzania, Mexico to name a few. They cruised the Caribbean, Alaska and the Mediterranean.

Harlan loved life and everything it had to offer.  He was known for his great sense of humor, his generosity, his willingness to help anyone.  He touched the lives of many and will be missed.  But, as Harlan always said, “We’re not here for a long time, we’re here for a good time.”

His memory will live on in the hearts of his wife, Sherrie; son, Todd; daughter-in-law, Sara Cwayna;  sisters, Bev (Richard) Hussey, Sandy Valek, Barb (Al) Lentsch, Bonnie (Don) Pavek, Roxanne (Dick) Simon, Deb (Dale) Simon and Kim (Rod) Smisek; nieces, nephews and many other loving relatives and friends.  Harlan was preceded in death by his son, Tyrone; father, Floyd Johnson; mother, Carol Sorensen Johnson; nephew, Scott Valek; and grandparents,  May You Rest In Peace, Harlan.

There will be a Memorial Service for Harlan Johnson on his birthday, Saturday, October 17, 2020, 11:00 am at Luck Lutheran Church, 510 E. Forest Ave, Luck, WI.  Masks will be mandatory. Please join us, but we understand and respect those that do not feel comfortable attending. There will be no gathering before the service.  Luncheon and visitation will immediately follow service at JJ’s Club 35, just south of Luck on Hwy 35.


To plant a tree in memory of Harlan W. Johnson, please visit our tribute store.


Memorial Service
October 17, 2020

11:00 AM
Luck Lutheran Church
510 E. Foster Avenue
Luck, Wisconsin 54853

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