The funeral service for Merlin Johnson, 98, of Minneota, will take place at 11:00 a.m. on Friday, February 21, 2020, at St. Paul’s Lutheran Church in Minneota. Visitation will be Thursday from 5:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m. with a Prayer Service at 7:00 p.m. at Rehkamp Horvath Funeral Home in Minneota. Visitation will continue on Friday from 10:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m. at St. Paul’s Lutheran Church. Interment will follow the service at Westerheim Cemetery in Minneota.
Merlin passed away at the Minneota Manor on Tuesday, February 18, 2020.
Merlin John Johnson was born on October 15, 1921, in Westerheim Township, to Adelstein and Anne (Esping) Johnson. He grew up on the family farm and attended country school until the 8th grade. He then attended the West Central School of Agriculture in Morris where he graduated in 1940.
In 1946, Merlin married Florence Kuchera in Ivanhoe and spent the rest of his life with her. They lived on the home farm where they raised their four children. In 2017, they moved to the Madison Avenue Apartments in Minneota.
Merlin was a very active member of St. Paul’s Lutheran Church, a member of the Westerheim Cemetery Board and a member of the Lutheran Brotherhood. His interests included not only farming, but hunting and trapping on his land in younger years, and later, watching his children, grand-children, and great grand-children grow. Along with his pride for his family, Merlin was proud of his Icelandic heritage and was able to travel with his son to Iceland in 2001. He was also made an honorary member of the Icelandic Association of Minnesota.
Merlin, Merlie, Dad, Grandpa, Great Grandpa will be remembered as a humble, smart man who loved to listen, visit and always interjected a little humor into his stories.
Merlin is survived by his loving wife of 73 years, Florence; son, Ken (Jan) of Foley; daughters, Pat of Mahtomedi, Denise (Mike) of Minneota, Gail (Don) of Argyle; grandchildren, Adam (Holly) Johnson, Luke (Amber) Johnson, Sarah Brennecke, Elliot(Mandy) Brennecke, Claire (Kevin) Brennecke, Abby (Joe) Thostenson, Candice Ahmann, and Connor, Lance and Max Yutrzenka; great grandchildren, Zachary and Hannah Johnson, Hudson, Alexis and Ivy Thostenson, and Reeve and Kellen Ahmann; sister-in-law Alta Johnson and many nieces and nephews.
He was preceded in death by his parents; step-mother Clara; brothers, Orlando (Irene) Johnson and Gordon Johnson; sisters, Arlet (Al) Olson, Annabelle (Francis) Claeys and Esther Johnson; sister-in-law Marie (Mike) Karolczak; and grandson Craig Ahmann.