Harlan W. Johnson
Harlan W. Johnson, 72, of Luck, Wisconsin, left this world on March 1, 2020, with his wife, Sherrie, son, Todd, and daughter-in-law, Sara, at his side. Harlan had a big heart, a gentle kindness and a good word for everyone. He will be greatly missed by all who loved and knew him. In lieu of flowers, the family prefers you please do a random act of kindness in Harlan’s memory.
On Oct. 17, 1947, Harlan Wayne Johnson was born to Carol and Floyd Johnson of Little Chicago, Minnesota. Harlan was the fifth child but the first and only son, and his seven sisters’ favorite brother. He attended Northfield High School, graduating in 1967. After graduating from high school Harlan worked as a truck driver for the Webster Co-op in Minnesota for four years, as a laborer and then supervisor for Thermo King Corporation for 14 years, as a stock clerk and mechanic for Northwest/Delta Airlines for 23 years, and finally, shop superintendent for Access Lifts for six years. He retired from the workforce in 2011 but continued to keep active right up until his illness in 2019. It was at Thermo King where Harlan met Sherrie Oldenburg, the love of his life for 45 years. They were married Jan. 18, 1975.
While pursuing their careers, Harlan and Sherrie made their home in Webster, Bloomington, and Lilydale, Minnesota. Their playground was at their lake home in Luck, Wisconsin. After retirement they purchased 56 acres of land just “out of Luck,” built a home and moved full time to Luck, a community they love, with residents they cherish. Harlan became active in the Luck Lions and the Luck Community Club. He was always known to lend a hand whenever and wherever he was needed.
Harlan loved four-wheeling and snowmobiling, gardening, landscaping, yard work and birds, fishing in Canada with Dick Simon and others, driving tractors, bonfires at the cabin and “Sher-n-Dipity Park,” meeting friends in town and cabin life. He spent time building ATV trails, and bridges for ATV trails. Harlan could drive and fix anything and engineer many things. He was an excellent sheet metal man, a good mechanic, an expert welder.
Harlan and Sherrie loved exploring together in the USA, Germany, Russia, Tanzania and Mexico, to name a few. They cruised the Caribbean, Alaska and the Mediterranean.
Harlan loved life and everything it had to offer. He was known for his great sense of humor, his generosity, his willingness to help anyone. He touched the lives of many and will be missed. But, as Harlan always said, “We’re not here for a long time, we’re here for a good time.”
His memory will live on in the hearts of his wife, Sherrie; son, Todd; daughter-in-law, Sara Cwayna; sisters, Bev (Richard) Hussey, Sandy Valek, Barb (Al) Lentsch, Bonnie (Don) Pavek, Roxanne (Dick) Simon, Deb (Dale) Simon and Kim (Rod) Smisek; nieces, nephews and many other loving relatives and friends.
Harlan was preceded in death by his son, Tyrone; father, Floyd Johnson; mother, Carol Sorensen Johnson; nephew, Scott Valek; and grandparents. May you rest in peace, Harlan.
A memorial service will be held Saturday, March 21, at 11 a.m. with a visitation from 9-11 a.m. at Luck Lutheran Church, 510 E. Foster Ave., Luck. In lieu of flowers, the family prefers you to please do a random act of kindness in Harlan’s memory.
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