LaVern ‘Vernnie” Johnson, age 84, of Knapp, Wisconsin, died Saturday, February 11, 2023 at his home.
Funeral service will be on Friday, February 17, 2023 at 11 a.m. at Immanuel Lutheran Church, Woodville, Wisconsin. The service will be livestreamed at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vxtG6NjljjI
Visitation will be on Thursday, February 16, 2023 from 4-7 p.m. at Keehr Funeral Home, Spring Valley and one hour prior to the service at the church on Friday.
Burial will be in Lone Pine Cemetery, Woodville.
LaVern ‘Vernnie or Vern’ Johnson, age 84, of Knapp, Wisconsin, died Saturday, February 11, 2023 at his home in Springfield Township after a courageous battle with polymyositis and cancer.
Vernnie was born May 11, 1938at home in Holcombe, Wisconsin to Marvin and Bessie (Tubbs) Johnson.When LaVern was five, the family moved to the Woodville area where he attended Birchdale Country School and Woodville High School.He was baptized at Immanuel Lutheran Church, an active member at Zion Lutheran Church and Wilson Lutheran Church, a charter member of Christ the King Lutheran Church, and choosing to return “home” to Immanuel Lutheran Church in his later years.Vern was a faithful member of service in many capacities at them all.
On December 30, 1961 LaVern married Nola Ruosch at Zion Lutheran Church in Woodville. They had 61 years together until Vern’s passing. Together they raised their children Don, Brenda and Sherry on their farm north of Woodville demonstrating a true faith, work ethic, and the importance of lending a hand, helping a neighbor, and opening your door to others. He loved being a Father, Grandpa, and Great-Grandpa always delighting in the things that the “kids” were doing.
Starting at a young age, Vernnie worked for several farmers in the area, at the Baldwin Allis Dealership, Baldwin and Woodville Feedmills, driving truck, and at the Woodville Hardware Store.He found his true calling when he began buying and selling horses, which led to his business of Johnson Cattle Sales where he was the ultimate “bovine relocation engineer”.LaVern’s knack for buying and selling animals took him all over the state, country, and even internationally selling in Canada, Mexico, and Saudi Arabia.It was a joy to hear him make a deal and watch what animals he would bring home to the farm each night. This business introduced him to some of his dearest friends and allowed him to work with his son, Don.
Vern loved the outdoors, caring for the land and animals, hunting, talking machinery and restoring tractors, and going to a “good” auction.He had a passion for training and driving horses. You would see him at many parades and fairs with his teams always proud when they were looking “sharp”.This hobby even took him to the Great Circus Parade in Milwaukee for several years. He had an artistic flair and was able to put creations together in a matter of minutes. All of these hobbies were enjoyed with Nola, family, and dear friends.
He was preceded in death by his parents, father-in-law Louis “Bud” Ruosch, mother-in-law Maureen Ruosch, sisters Irene Kanis and Marlys Snyder and her husband, Jerry, brother Lloyd Johnson, brother-in-law Dale “Buzzy” Ruosch, son-in-law Todd Hurtgen, and nephew Tim Snyder.
Survivors include his wife Nola; children: Don (Mariana) Johnson, Brenda (Richard) Cronk, and Sherry (Rich) Neisius; 6 grandchildren: Jena (Jerry) Kaiser, Krista Cronk, Michelle (Josh Lisiecki) Johnson, Jessica (Collin) Flaig, Tiffany (Mike) Nelson, and Casey Neisius; 3 great grandchildren: Madison Carey, Jakobe Wallace, Kinslea Wallace, and Baby Boy Flaig due in April; in-laws: Roy (Glenda) Kanis, Marlene (Rich Sadergaski) Thomas, Naomi (Larry) Nelson, Duane (Lourdes) Ruosch, Nadine Schneider, and Kitty (Don Chase) Ruosch; and many relatives and friends.
Honorary Bearers were: Galen Menken, Kurt Menken, Dave Mentink, and Dave Wegener. Pallbearerswere: Dan Ferg, Kevin Fry, Dave Faber,
Dwayne Kruizenga, Waylon Fry, Chuck Johnson
The family is grateful and extends their gratitude for the wonderful doctors, nurses, hospice staff, and Pastor Paul Fritz that helped him through this last challenging part of his life and all of his dear and faithful friends that meant so much to him. You are home, but forever in our hearts.
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