Johnson, Gerald O. “Jerry”
Gerald O. “Jerry” Johnson, 70, of Cedar Rapids, passed away peacefully Saturday, Dec. 15, 2012, at Willow Gardens Care Center, Marion, after a hard-fought battle with prostate cancer.
Son of the late Walter and Elsie (Vickerman) Johnson, Jerry was born in Amherst Township, Minn., on Sept. 17, 1942. Raised in Lenora, Minn., he graduated from Canton High School and married Carole Jean Anderson on Sept. 17, 1960. They later divorced, but remained close until his death. After farming in southern Minnesota, Jerry moved his family to Cedar Rapids in 1964. He was a 29-year employee of Wilson Foods (Farmstead), a maintenance supervisor at CMF&Z for 10 years, and after six years, retired from Linn-Area Credit Union in 2010 due to his illness.
Jerry loved sports, gardening, laughing, hard work and road trips to the casino, but his greatest joy came from the love he shared with his family. He touched many lives as a fun-loving, adventurous and loyal friend.
Jerry is survived by his devoted children: sons, Dean (Jill) Johnson of Cedar Rapids and Steven (David Olson) Johnson of St. Paul, Minn.; daughter, Cathy Adler of Naperville, Ill.; grandchildren, Dena (Zach) McDowell of Denver, Colo., Mitchell Johnson, Eric Johnson and Adam (Courtney) Johnson, all of Cedar Rapids, Andrea (Steve) Lichtenheld of Wheaton, Ill., and Claire Bryce (Anthony Palkovics) of Naperville, Ill.; and great-grandchildren, Lance, Addison and Crew Johnson, Jacob and Mollie Lichtenheld, and Jack, Josie and “Peanut” McDowell.
Also surviving are brothers, Warren (Joyce) Johnson of Spring Grove, Minn., and Tom (Gladys) Johnson of St. Paul Park, Minn.; sisters, Joanne Shorter of Spring Valley, Minn., Carol (“Brother Bill”) Stanke of Mabel, Minn., Wanda (Barry) Rassmussen of Mabel, Minn., and Rita (Roger) Westphal of Rochester, Minn.; sisters-in-law, Marian (Paul) Johnson of Harmony, Minn., Marie (Richard) Johnson of Orville, Calif., and Marilyn (Dale) Johnson of Cedar Rapids; many, many loving nieces, nephews and cousins; and a host of friends.
Along with his parents, Jerry was preceded in death by an infant sister; brothers, Melvin, Richard, Paul, Willard and Dale; and nephews, Randy Johnson and Michael Stanke.
A Memorial Service celebrating Jerry’s life will be held at 1 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 29, at Cedar Memorial Park Chapel of Memories, with a gathering of family and friends at the chapel beginning at noon. A luncheon will follow at Cedar Memorial Family Center. Honoring Jerry’s wishes, his body has been cremated, and burial will take place in Lenora Cemetery, Lenora, Minn., on a beautiful, warm and sunny day next spring.
The family wishes to extend our sincere gratitude to Dr. David Zenk and the entire staff at PCI, the dedicated and compassionate St. Luke’s Hospice team, and our profound appreciation to the caregivers at Willow Gardens who without exception, demonstrated there truly are angels among us. Dad loved all of you as his family.
Online condolences may be left at www.cedarmemorial.com under “obituaries.”
Published Dec. 26, 2012 in The Gazette