Willard E. Johnson

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Willard E. Johnson
Willard Emil Johnson, 95, died Friday, November 9th, peacefully following a brief, difficult struggle with his health.  Although originally from Minneapolis, MN, he spent the majority of his adult life in Cumberland.  What started as a summer cabin for Shirley and Willard eventually transpired into their full time residence when he retired from his job as a Pipefitter with the Minneapolis School District.  
Willard was a WWII veteran, spending his time on the  USS Stanly (DD-478) in the Pacific fighting the enemy.  As a true patriot, he enlisted and was very proud of his service, as was his entire family.  
He has shared the past 30 years of his life with his partner, Sharon Bents.  They have had a wonderful life together, traveling, visiting with beloved friends and just simply sitting on their deck enjoying the beauty of Granite Lake.  He’s had many hobbies over the years, but none more important to him than his woodworking.  The family and friends have been blessed with many pieces made especially for them over the years.  
He was preceded in death by his cherished parents, Oskar and Ellen, his beloved wife, Shirley, his brother, Henning, and his grandson, Tim Aronson.  He is survived by son, Roger (Jacki) Johnson, daughter, Beth Beninga (her partner, Gary Vankempen) granddaughters, Linda (Richard) Franek, Wendi (Bryan) Kaisershot and Krissy (Robert) Ness, 7 great grandchildren and two great, great grandsons, plus many other loving relatives and friends.  
There will be a memorial service honoring Willard on Saturday, November 17th at First Lutheran Church, Elm and 8th Ave, in Cumberland, at 11:00AM with Visitation beginning at 10:00AM.  Private interment, at a later date, will be held at Fort Snelling.  
In lieu of flowers, memorials are preferred to the Granite Lake Association.   A special thank you goes to the loving, caring staff of Shell Lake Health Care Center for the wonderful comfort and care they gave Willard in the final stage of his life.  



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