Date of Birth
Date of Death
Richard James Johnson, age 86, passed away on Monday, December 29, 2014 at Abbott Northwestern Hospital in Minneapolis, MN. He was surrounded by his loving wife Yuen and family. He and Yuen lived in Eagan, MN. Richard was born April 30, 1928 in Batavia, IL where he grew up and attended elementary and high school. He enjoyed time with his mom, dad and close friends. Richard then served in the US Army during the Korean War. After the war he returned to IL where he worked for Northern Illinois Gas and he met his first wife MaryAnn Pawlowski of Aurora, IL. They were married in Fort Collins, CO where he completed college in Forestry . They had four children.Richard began a career with the US Forest Service which brought him to Deadwood, SD and the Pacific NW coast where his forest and soil conservation and sustainable timber management plans are used to this day.He also lived and worked in Carterville, IL for some years, then moved to Fergus Falls, MN working for the US Fish & Wildlife Service to set aside and preserve the wetlands in this once vast prairie pothole region. Richard’s legacy is alive today through the thousands of acres of Waterfowl Production Areas he established to protect this natural habit and provide opportunities for public hunting.Richard moved to Inver Grove Heights, MN where he met his current wife Yuen and completed a 30+ year career for the US FWS. Then he began a 15 year career with the State of MN Department of Transportation appraising land for highway infrastructure growth. He retired from MNDOT to spend more time traveling and pursuing his many hobbies including his family genealogy work, fishing with Yuen, restoring bamboo fly rods, photography, researching, collecting old stereo equipment, and shot guns. Richard had an intense passion for collecting and enjoying many types of music, especially from the 1930’s and 1940’s jazz era. He enjoyed the wit and politics of Garrison Keillor, and loved to read books about WWII and other historical events. He also loved animals, and kept the companionship of a family dog during his life. He treasured the woods, and all of Mother Nature in concert with Father Time.Richard’s pursuit of perfection, conservation, and fairness will be with us always.He is survived by his wife Yuen; stepdaughter Angela [Alex] Kopacek of Minneapolis, MN; daughter Susan [Willie] Pearson of Maple Grove, MN; son David [Elizabeth] Johnson of Duluth, MN; Michael [Carman] Johnson of St. Paul, MN; Peter [Melissa] Johnson of Somerset, WI; grandchildren Ben [Megan] Pearson; Cody and Sarah Johnson; Madeline, Luke, and Drew Johnson; Oliver and Johnnie Johnson. Rest in Peace Richard. Know that you were loved, and will live in our hearts forever.Conley Funeral Home 106-116 West Pierce StreetElburn, Illinois 60119Phone: 630-365-6414.Visitation for friends and family to be held: Friday Jan 2, 2015 at 10:30am CDTAn informal Graveside service to follow at 12:00 noon.Richard will be laid to rest at the Van Vlack Cemetary in Maple Park, ILFloral arrangements if desired can be made through Joan at"Gardens & Gatherings" At Ph: 630-779-2225.Thanks from the family for your thoughts and prayers, and may God Bless you!
Van Vlack Cemetery, Maple Park IL.