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Arnell Johnson, 85 Print E-mail
Written by TRF Times   
    Thief River Falls - Arnell Johnson, 85, passed away on Friday, June 1, 2012 under palliative care at Sanford Hospital in Fargo, N.D.
    Memorial service were held on Monday, June 4 at Johnson Funeral Service in Thief River Falls, with Reverend Frank Ehling officiating.
    Arnell Theodor Johnson was born July 26, 1926 in Warren, the son of Walter H. and Ellen Christine (Pearson) Johnson.  He was baptized on the 11th day of November, 1926 in Warren.  Arnell attended school in Karlstad.
    After school, Arnell worked on his uncle’s farm and for a farmer in Montana.
    On Jan. 30, 1945, Arnell entered into service with the United States Army. He worked as a mechanic and also guarded prisoners while stationed in Okinawa, Japan. Arnell was honorably discharged on Sept. 21, 1945.
    In November 1949, he was united in marriage to Mardell Olson in Roseau. Together they raised their family of four children:  Barb, Susan, Kathleen, and Greg. The couple moved to Minneapolis, where Arnell attended school at Dunwoody, specializing in carpentry.  They then moved to LaHabra, Calif., where the family resided for four years.  Arnell worked there for the Hunts Company and for the United States Postal Service.
    In 1956, the Johnson family moved to Circle Pines, where they resided until they moved to Erskine in 1968. It was then that Arnell went into business building homes with his brother, Walt.
    In 1970 Arnell and Mardell moved to Thief River Falls.  He, his son, Gregory, and his son-in-law, Ray started Johnson and Sons Construction, working together until his retirement in 1988. Arnell couldn’t quite retire so he went to work part-time for Harlan Kirkeide, doing more construction work.
    Arnell, along with his fishing buddy, Mardell, spent a lot of time fishing – their favorite pastime. With Mardell by his side, the couple helped their children build their homes, with Arnell doing the carpenter work and Mardell doing the finishing work. He liked to play any kind of cards, watch Jeopardy, and was an avid reader – sometimes reading five or six books a week.  He had a very unique sense of humor and loved to tell stories of the old days.
    For many years, he took excellent care of his wife as she battled Krohn’s disease. There wasn’t anything that he wouldn’t do for her.  There was nothing that Arnell couldn’t fix– he was very knowledgeable in many areas making any project very easy for him.
    Arnell will be remembered as a loving, hard-working husband, father, and grandfather who taught his children many valuable life lessons.  His family is left with many, many fond memories.  He will be greatly missed.
    Arnell is survived by his children, Barb (Ray) Housey of Thief River Falls, Susan Johnson of Moorhead, Kathleen Johnson of Embarrass, Gregory (Diane) Johnson of St. Hilaire; 11 grandchildren; 14½ great-grandchildren; three great-great-grandchildren; many cousins, nieces, nephews, relatives, and friends.
    Preceding him in death are his wife, Mardell; brothers, Walt and Warren and sister, Lois Ann.
    Family condolences may be sent to www.johnsonfuneralservice.com.
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