Oct. 6, 1949-Nov. 4, 2013
LAKE BENTON - Services for Steven L. Johnson, 64, of Lake Benton will be at 1:30 p.m. Friday, at Grace Lutheran Church in Lake Benton. Visitation will be from 4-8 p.m. today with a prayer service at 7 p.m., all at the church. Burial will be in Memorial Hill Cemetery in Lake Benton. Arrangements are provided by Hartquist Funeral Home, Utoft-Johansen Chapel in Lake Benton.
Steven Lee Johnson was born to Kenneth and Beatrice "Irene" (Willert) Johnson on Oct. 6, 1949, in Pipestone. He joined a brother Randy and was later joined by Allan and Todd. He was baptized at the English Lutheran Church, Lake Benton with Merril and Cleone Willert serving as his baptismal sponsors and was later confirmed at Grace Lutheran Church (English Lutheran), Lake Benton. He was raised on the family farm west of Lake Benton and attended Kindergarten at Lake Benton Public School. He completed the remaining years of his education at Verdi Public School, graduating in 1967. In the fall of 1967, he joined the Pipestone/Tracy Unit of the Army National Guard and served 6 years as a cook.
On Sept. 5, 1969, he married Nancy Smith of Verdi at the Holland Christian Reformed Church, Holland, Minn. To this union, they were blessed with two sons, Shawn Michael and Shane Steven. Following their marriage, they lived by Mankato, MN where Steve worked for a farmer. A short time later, they moved back to the Elkton area and later to the Lake Benton area where Steve worked for various farmers. In 1974 he fulfilled a life long dream of farming on his own, renting land from various landlords. In the fall of 1978 they purchased their current farm in Diamond Lake Township. During the farm crisis of the early 80's, he found the need to pursue another career, thus began his truck driving adventures taking him through most of the states. But his most enjoyable time was going west and driving through the mountains listening to his John Anderson country music tapes.
In the fall of 1998, he started his own trucking business, Eagle Ridge Trucking LLC, driving mostly in the Midwest and hauling anything a grain trailer would hold. His last couple of years he hauled grain for local farmers. His son Shane was part of the business for a few years and they also farmed together. In 2007, he bought another tractor and manure tank and worked with his son Shawn hauling manure. He was deeply honored and proud to have been able to work with both of his sons.
Steve was a member of Grace Lutheran Church in Lake Benton, MN where he served for two years as a trustee. He was also a member of the Henry Sollie American Legion Post in Lake Benton, MN. When he found spare time, you could find him sitting by the lake fishing, or target shooting with his children and grandchildren. He loved his "Grandpa Days" with his grandchildren and fulfilled a dream of purchasing two go-carts for them. There was great joy in his eyes just watching them ride in the yard.
Steve will forever be remembered in the hearts of his wife, Nancy Johnson of Lake Benton, MN; two sons, Shawn Michael and his wife Maria of Pipestone, MN and Shane Steven and his wife Tanya of Verdi, MN; eight grandchildren, Amanda Blom (John), Andrew Bradtke, Jamie Johnson (fiancee Ashley Verly), Dustin Johnson, Adam Johnson, Aubrey Wirth, Jake Johnson, and Aidan Johnson; four great grandchildren, Sarah and Zachary Blom and Jason and Cody Johnson; brothers, Randy (Sharon) Johnson of Princeton, MN, Allan (Kathy) Johnson of Lake Benton, MN, Todd (Miriam) Johnson of Pipestone, MN, his God Mother, Cleone Willert of Tyler, MN, and many nieces, nephews, aunts, uncles, cousins and friends. He was proud and honored to be God Father to Stephanie Rollefson and Samantha Johnson.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Kenneth and Irene Johnson; his father-in-law, Al Smith; his nephew, Jason Smith and his God Father, Merril Willert.
Blessed Be the Memory of Steven Lee Johnson
On November 4th, 2013, Steve passed away in his home with his family at his side at the age of 64 years and 29 days. He fought a courageous battle following his cancer diagnosis in June of 2012.