Willard G. Johnson, 81, Monticello

Willard Johnson

Willard G. Johnson, 81, Monticello went home to Jesus, Tuesday Feb. 18, 2014, at Park View Care Center of Buffalo, surrounded by his family.  Visitation was Monday, Feb. 24, from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. at Faith Lutheran Church, 12449 Clementa Ave. N.W., Monticello.  The funeral service was at 6 p.m. with Rev. Jim Tetlie officiating.  There will be a private interment.  Willard was born June 11, 1932, in Silver Creek Township to Elmer G. and Florence (Carlson) Johnson.  He graduated from Monticello High School in 1950.  He was united in marriage to Lenore Platten on July 25, 1953.  They lived and farmed in Silver Creek Township for 60 years.  Bill’s love was the farm.  He raised chicken early on and beef cattle throughout his life.  He cherished his white Charlois cows, and selling them in 2002 was like selling family members.  Willard also worked at the Monticello Land O’ Lakes milk drying plant from 1950 to 1966.  He always said he worked there 16 years and slept eight of them.  He ran a drill press at Honeywell from 1966 to 1972.  From 1972 until his retirement in 1994, he was a supervisor with the Wright County Dairy Herd Improvement Association (DHIA).  He loved visiting with dairy farmers and watching their children grow.  In his spare time, Willard enjoyed hunting and fishing.  In retirement, he and Lenore enjoyed going to auctions, solving world problems at the coffee clutch at the Corner Café in Monticello and playing 500 with the card club.  His greatest joy was spending time with his family.  Willard lived his life and taught by example: Your family comes first, your job comes second, and all the rest is a luxury.
Willard is survived by his loving wife of 60 years, Lenore;  daughters Laurie (Wayne) Steffens, Robin (Jay) Brisse, Susan (Richard) Chwalek;  granddaughters Amy (Shane) Hanson, Claire and Colleen Chwalek and great grandson Nolan Hanson.  He was preceded in death by his parents, Elmer and Florence;  sister Phyllis Young and grandson Matthew Steffens.
Funeral arrangements were with the Peterson-Grimsmo Chapel of Monticello.