Gary Allen Johnson

June 12, 1943 ~ July 27, 2018 (age 75)

Gary Allen Johnson, 75, of Bemidji, MN died peacefully Friday, July 27, 2018 at Hills Crossing Assisted Living after a long illness.

Memorial Services will be 5:00 p.m., Friday, August 3, 2018 at the Olson-Schwartz Funeral Home with Rev. Derek Claypool officiating. Family will greet friends one hour prior to the service at the funeral home. Burial of cremated remains will be in Le Roy Cemetery, Le Roy, MN at a later date.

He was born June 12, 1943 in Le Roy, MN to Henry and Norma on the family farm. He attended country school. He graduated from Le Roy High School in 1961 and Winona State University in 1967 with a degree in elementary education. Gary married Sharon Elaine Byrd on June 28, 1963. His profession brought them to Battle Creek, MI and Austin, MN where he taught 5th and 6th grade. He taught at both Shaw Elementary and Ellis Middle School in Austin, MN. He retired in 1999. Gary enjoyed traveling, trout fishing, sports (playing and watching) and gardening. He was a prolific reader actually reading a set of encyclopedias from cover to cover. He also enjoyed reading anything to do with war history. Gary and his wife traveled extensively throughout North America including riding a Honda Goldwing to Alaska. They were full time RVers upon retirement until 2006, when they built a home in Branson, MO. In 2008 due to his wife’s illness, they moved to Bemidji to be close to family.

He is survived by his daughter, Diane (Thomas) Leif of Bemidji; son, Michael Johnson with granddaughter, Keani Johnson both of Oakdale and a sister, Martha (Sid) Fister of Le Roy, MN.

He was preceded in death by his parents; wife; brother; and a daughter, Debbie Lynn Johnson.

Online guestbook at

Special thanks to the staff at Meadowlands Elder Care in Tenstrike, Hills Crossing Senior Living in Nisswa and St. Croix Hospice.

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