Johnson, James T. (1908-1997)

James T. Johnson, 89. died Tuesday, December 16, 1997 at Oakland Park Nursing Home in Thief River Falls.

Funeral services were held at 2 p. m. on Saturday, December 20 at Our Saviour’s Lutheran church in Thief River Falls with Rev. Terry Olson officiating. Music was provided by organist, Wanda Vigness, and soloist, Jan Nyflot. Casketbearers were Cheslie Ruud, Roy Ruud, Kenneth Ose, Norman Blackstad, Joe Ose and LeRoy Ose. Burial was at Satersdal Cemetery in Excel township of Marshall County. Arrangements were with the Green Funeral Home.

James T. Johnson was born on August 23, 1908 to Christ and Anna (Bekkedal) Johnson at their home in Rollis township east of Gatzke. He was baptized and confirmed in the Lutheran faith. He attended elementary school in Gatzke, and after his father died in 1921, he took over the family farm. Jim also worked in road construction for Ose Brothers in the 1920’s and into the 40’s.

In August of 1942 he joined the U.S. Army’s 48th Engineer Combat Battalion and boarded the U.S.S. Edmund Alexander bound for Africa. The 48th, a bridge building battalion, continued on to Italy, southern France and Germany. At the end of World War II, he returned to Gatzke and did road construction work.

On December 9, 1945 he was united in marriage to Inga Ose in Thief River Falls where the couple made their home. He worked for the Thief River Falls street department as a mechanic from the 1950’s until the 70’s when he retired. Inga died on October 9, 1980.

On February 27, 1982 he married Gertie Thompson Joppru in Thief River Falls. James most recently resided at Oakland Park Nursing Home.

He was a member of Our Saviour’s Lutheran Church. Very mechanically inclined, James built model steam engines and also enjoyed working with wood.

James is survived by his wife, Gertie; one daughter, LuAnn (Phipip) Zieman of Montello, WI; one step-daughter, Susan (Dale) Wall of Hampton, NE; two step-sons, Andy (Jeannie) Joppru of Thief River Falls and David (Rosalie) Joppru of Northport, FL; several step-grandchildren; step-son-in-law, Robert Nelson of Thief River Falls; cousins and friends.

He was preceded in death by his first wife, Inga; one infant son, James; one brother, Arnt Johnson; and one step-daughter, Sandy Nelson.

Transcribed by: Cheryl Srnsky