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Johnson, Roger W

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June 19, 1945 - January 12, 2018

Johnson, Roger W

Roger Walter Johnson, 72, returned to his heavenly home on January 12, 2018 after battling Parkinson’s disease and dementia. His devotion to his family and his firm belief in God supported him in his struggle and ultimately gave him peace.

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 Roger was born to the late Walter and Frederica Keller Johnson on June 19, 1945 while his parents were temporarily stationed in New Orleans with the Navy following his father’s overseas deployment during World War II.  He grew up in Cloquet, Minnesota, his father’s home town.  As a child, Roger learned the value of hard work as he participated in daily activities on his family’s small farm while his father also worked in the nearby paper mill. Growing up in a family of four children also led Roger to enjoy a life-long fondness for board and card games.

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 After graduating in 1967 from North Park College in Chicago, with a bachelor degree in Mathematics, he entered employment with Western-Electric in Chicago. Upon marriage, he and Janell transferred to Burlington, North Carolina where Roger worked as a programmer, first at the Western-Electric Burlington plant and later at the Guilford Center during Western Electric’s transition to AT&T and later Lucent Technologies. Roger was active at Shiloh Presbyterian Church, First Presbyterian Church of Burlington, North Carolina and First Presbyterian Church of Barberton, Ohio as an Elder, Deacon, Clerk of Session, and Sunday school teacher. Roger served in Vasa Order of America, a Swedish fraternal organization, as president and vice president of the local chapter.

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 Roger was blessed with a loving family and friends. He was a lifetime student of the Swedish and Norwegian language.  He also enjoyed woodworking, genealogy, golf, theatre, playing horseshoes, and joke gathering and sharing. He loved to swim and was a lifeguard in his youth. Roger and his granddaughter, Hannah, had a tradition of eating herring while watching Mary Poppins. He was noted for his optimism, intelligence and kind spirit from those who knew him.

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 Upon retirement, he worked with his brother, Tom, at Tom’s company, Johnson MedTech in Wadsworth, Ohio and later at Datacom in Minneapolis, Minnesota.  As Parkinson’s Disease entered his life, he retired from all work and rested at home. As family support became important, Roger and Janell moved to Kingwood, Texas where daughter Shelley and family live. Following evacuation from Hurricane Harvey, Roger’s health deteriorated quickly as a result of complications from pneumonia and dementia.

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 Roger is survived by his wife, Janell; son Matthew (Heidi) Johnson; daughter Shelley (Ben) Johnson Peterson; grandchildren Hannah, Lula, Hagen, Kempfert, Norma, and Della; brother, Dan (Cindy) Johnson; sister, Beverly (Richard) Shultz. He is preceded in death by his brothers, Philip Johnson, Tom (Kathy) Johnson, and his parents.

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 The family will have a memorial service in Minnesota in the coming months. The family would like to thank Caregivers: Eric, Breann (The Home Care Family), Latonya, Tonya, Gina (The Isle of Kingwood), and Melody (Grace Hospice of Texas) for their dedication and help caring for Roger in this time of need. The family gratefully declines flowers but a tribute to Roger’s memory can be made to the National Parkinson’s Foundation at www.parkinsons.org.

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