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Duane “Johnny” Johnson 07/23/2023

Duane “DJ” “Johnny” Francis Johnson, a gentle man beloved by all, passed away on July 23rd, 2023, at the age of 84 in River Falls, Wisconsin. He was born on May 26th, 1939, to Durell and Selma (Jahr) Johnson in Baldwin, Wisconsin. Duane was a caring, giving, selfless, and loving husband, father, grampa, great-grampa, brother, and friend who, in his quiet way, made everyone he met feel special. Duane made quick friends with everyone he met.

Duane married the love of his life, Mary Ellen (Rickard) Johnson on July 11th, 1964. They celebrated their 59th anniversary a few short days before his passing. Together they raised four boys in Alaska and Wisconsin.

Duane was a creative and talented craftsman, handyman, jack of all trades, tinkerer, and hobby farmer who loved working with his hands. After serving in the Army, he worked most of his life maintaining equipment and vehicles for numerous companies both in Alaska and Wisconsin. A hunter and fisherman, he loved all things outdoors. Duane could always be counted on for a quick joke. He loved making people laugh.

Duane, who said he had never had a bad day in his life, was a humble, fun-loving man whose joyfulness and sense of humor will live on in the hearts of those who knew him.

Duane is pre-deceased by his parents Durell and Selma, and his brother Donnie. Duane is survived by his wife Mary; children Greg (Laura), Steve, Tom (Lori), and Brian (Tristan); grandchildren Greg Jr., Ellen, Max (Savanna), Laine, Maggie, Chase, Evelyn, and Simon; great grandchildren Marcus and Alexander; siblings Marvis Johnson (beloved wife of brother Donnie), Jerry (Karen) Johnson, Sharon (Fred) Mercord, and Dick (Marlene) Johnson.

A Celebration Of Life took place at Bakken-Young Funeral & Cremation Services (728 S Knowles Ave) New Richmond, Wisconsin on Saturday, August 12, 2023, from 1:00PM- 4:00PM.  A time of sharing started at 3:30PM, followed by military honors.  Interment will be in Warren Cemetery at a later date.  In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be sent to: Day Away Club (Respite) at the Aging and Disability Resource Center (ADRC), 1752 Dorset Lane, New Richmond, WI 54017.     Arrangements are with Bakken-Young Funeral & Cremation Services.



  • Bruce Younker Posted July 26, 2023 3:02 pm

    Johnny was loved by all who knew him including both of us.
    May he rest in peace. Bruce and Luann Younker

  • Willie Perkins Posted July 26, 2023 4:24 pm

    All of these words about Johnny, are all so true. I don’t think I ever saw an unhappy look on his face, and I know I never heard an unkind word from his mouth. He carried so much Love and Light that he always had plenty to share with everyone around him, and we all could feel it. He is Loved and Missed beyond measure by all who knew him. Rest in Peace, Johnny!

  • Chuck & Barb Bean Posted July 26, 2023 7:09 pm

    We have many fond memories of time spent with Johnny and his family. He was the kindest person I ever met. Never a bad word spoken about anyone. You felt better by spending time with him. Barb and I send thoughts and prayers to the family.

  • Kim Hansen Posted July 27, 2023 11:47 am

    He was a great man. I will miss my “Alaska Dad:”. So many great stories and jokes.

  • Tylers Posted July 27, 2023 9:12 pm

    Johnny Johnson was a man that lit up the room with laughter. Always a great person to be around. We will always hold him in our hearts with lots of great memories. Rest in peace and you will be missed.

  • Richard and RoseMarie Galloway Posted July 28, 2023 12:28 am

    Johnny was one of finest !!!!! Always willing to lend a hand to any who needed it. Our prayers and condolences are surely with his family.

  • Berdean Mante Posted July 29, 2023 12:18 pm

    There are no words to ease the pain you all are feeling…I’m honored to have known n be a part of your family’s life…my prayers and thoughts are with you all…Johnny was one of the best man any one could have known. Prayers for you all…

  • Del and Linda Vizenor Posted August 6, 2023 11:38 pm

    Johnny’s wit and smile certainly are missed in Funny River. Many visits bring back wonderful memories. His talent as a craftsman was enjoyed by all who knew him. Rest in peace dear friend.

  • Steve Beying Posted August 10, 2023 4:41 pm

    in Prescott WI back in 1963 we built a stock car together and won two races with it one in Red Wing Mn and another in Cannon Falls MN I also went job hunting with him and he got a job at Afton Alps ski resort because of his knowledge of Poma lifts that he worked with in Alaska. I enjoyed the time we spent together.

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