James Johns, 74
James “Jim” W. Johns, 74, of Blooming Prairie died Friday, March 9, 2018, at Prairie Manor Care Center in Blooming Prairie. Jim lost a long battle with a brain disease called Progressive Supranuclear Palsy (PSP).
Jim graduated in 1961 from Blooming Prairie High School.
After graduation, he enlisted in the US Army. His basic training was in Ft. Carson, Colo., advancing to Ft. Belvior, Va., for heavy-duty equipment mechanic training. While on leave, he met Joyce Lewison, at Archie’s Drive Inn in Geneva. Instead of going to Germany like Jim thought the orders read, he served in Thule, Greenland from 1961 to 1964. Upon returning home from Greenland, Jim started working at Lindekugel Chevrolet as a parts manager.
Jim and Joyce married on June 26, 1965 at Aurora Lutheran Church by Owatonna. In 1966, Jim and Joyce moved to St. Louis, Mo., where Jim attended and graduated from Bailey Technical School. The couple returned to Blooming Prairie, where Jim worked as a shop foreman at Ed’s Repair Shop in Owatonna.
Jim and Joyce welcomed their first born, Jaclyn Joyce Johns, on Aug. 21, 1970. Jim also worked for Fretheim Excavating in Owatonna and Midwest Diesel in Austin during the 1970s. Jim and Joyce welcomed their second child, James (Jay) William Johns II, on Dec. 5, 1975. From the early 1980s until retirement, Jim operated his own mechanic shop and farmed with his brother-in-law, Richard Lewison, and son, Jay.
Jim was a 45-year member of the American Legion; served as Post 52 commander for two years. Jim was also a member of First Lutheran Church in Blooming Prairie; he was active in the church choir. Jim served as Township Clerk for Summit Township for many years. He enjoyed collecting and working on his John Deere tractors, going to area tractor pulls, collecting guns, shooting clay pigeons, attending his grandchildren’s school activities, and having morning coffee with his “cronies.”
Jim is survived by his wife of 52 years, Joyce Johns of Blooming Prairie; children, Jaci (Dennis) Hillson of Johnson Creek, Wis., and Jay (Amy Stoen) Johns of Blooming Prairie; grandchildren, Elizabeth Hillson of Austin, Rebeccah Hillson of Pleasant Prairie, Wis., Grace Johns of La Crosse, Wis., Michael Hillson of Johnson Creek, Wis., Sarah Johns of Blooming Prairie and Charlie Johns of Blooming Prairie and nieces and nephew, Rossanna Vick, Loni Christianson, Richard “Chip” Cory and Stephanie Cory.
Jim was preceded in death by his parents, Herman and Frances; sister, Kathryn (Bob) LeBeau; father and mother-in-law, Bernard and Ethel Lewison and brother-in-law, Richard Lewison.
Visitation will be held at First Lutheran Church in Blooming Prairie on Tuesday, March 13 from 4 to 7 p.m. and on Wednesday one hour prior to the service. A Funeral Service will be held at First Lutheran Church in Blooming Prairie on Wednesday, March 14, 2018 at 11 a.m. with Pastor Heidi Heimgartner and Pastor Richard Hegal officiating.
Interment will be in the Union Cemetery with military honors by the Blooming Prairie Honor Guard.
The family requests memorials go to Blooming Prairie Honor Guard or First Lutheran Church Choir Fund.
Arrangements are being handled by Michaelson Funeral Homes of Owatonna.