Johnson, La Verne D.


La Verne D. Johnson was welcomed into Heaven by his Savior on March 24, 2017. He was born May 18, 1930, in La Crosse, Wis., to Bennie and Emma (Kinstler) Johnson. La Verne was baptized in Holmen, Wos/I, and confirmed at Cedar Valley Lutheran Church. On June 4, 1955, he married Elaine M. Fritz at Grace Lutheran Church in Stockton, Minn.

La Verne was a member of St. Matthew’s Evangelical Lutheran Church in Winona, Minn. As a young man, he owned his own trucks and had a milk hauling route. Later on, he worked at Peerless Chain for 31 years before retiring in 1992.

He is survived by his daughters, Vicky (Gregg) Warning, Neenah, Wis., and Kay (David) Evenson, Galesville, Wis.; and son David Johnson, Houston, Minn.; grandchildren, Christina, Matthew (Tina) and Andrew Evenson, Rachel Warning, Lucas, Johanna, Jacob, and Peter Johnson; sister, Margie  Birkeland;  brothers-in-law, Lowell Birkeland,  David Toske, Marlin Fritz, La Vern Fritz, Eldon Fritz and Lyle Fritz; sisters-in-law, Joanne Fritz, Lou Fritz and Joyce Fritz; and many nieces and nephews.

He was preceded in death by his parents; wife, Elaine; sisters, Darlene Duellman, Marilyn Nygaard, and JoAnn Toske; sisters-in-law, Jaye Fritz, Doris Doebbert; brothers-in-law, Stanley Doebbert, Roger Fritz, Donald Nygaard and Robert Duellman; and a half-brother, Roderick Johnson. 

Visitation will be held from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. on Thursday, March 30, 2017, at the Watkowski-Mulyck Funeral Home. Visitation will also be held from 10 a.m. until the funeral service at 11 a.m. on Friday, March 31, 2017, at St. Matthew’s Evangelical Lutheran Church, 766 West Wabasha Street, Winona. The Reverend Matthew Schoell and the Reverend Karl Gurgel will officiate.

La Verne will be laid to rest in the Bush Cemetery, Ridgeway.

In lieu of flowers, please direct memorials to the St. Matthew’s Lutheran Church Radio Fund.

 Casketbearers will be Matthew Evenson, Andrew Evenson, Lucas Johnson, Jacob Johnson, Ron Fiers and Steve Birkeland.

Online condolences or memories may be left for La Verne’s family at

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