Kenneth R. Johnson, 90, passed away Friday, September 27, 2019 at Waterview Pines.

Kenneth Russell Johnson was born at home on February 7, 1929 in Hibbing to Oscar C. and Mamie (Gustafson) Johnson. Kenny was a graduate of Hibbing H. S. During his schooling, he worked at Woolworths dime store and Zins Master Bread Co. Later, he worked for E.W. Coons and then at Pacific Isle Mining Co., now called ArcelorMittal. He was a shovel operator first, then was a Pit foreman. He married Donna Boyum, the love of his life, at First Lutheran Church on November 21, 1952. They had 2 children, Darcy and Steven. In 1968, the mining company transferred Ken to Blk River Falls, WI. When they returned, they lived in Zim for over 20 years, then moved to Virginia. After retiring, Ken and his neighbor, Vern Peterson had a portable sawmill. They retired when the logs got too big to roll. His family was the most important part of his life. Ken had a great sense of humor to the end. He enjoyed playing basketball, and even played on a traveling league after his marriage. He also loved bowling, woodworking, fishing, hunting, and card clubs in his later years. Ken had always adored animals, especially his many pets.

He is survived by his wife, Donna of nearly 67 years; son, Steve (Judy) Johnson; granddaughters, Nicole Dambach and Melissa Johnson; great-grandson, Gabe Dambach; sister, Delores Sikich; numerous nieces and nephews; special nieces, Gerri (George) Podrug and Michelle (Rob) Haugen; special nephew, Jeff (Lisa) Sikich; and their families; 7 step-grandchildren; 10 step-great-grandchildren; son-in-heart, Peter (Barb) Schmidt; and special neighbor, Tony Neari.

He was preceded in death by his parents; beloved daughter, Darcy (Vic) Robich; brothers, Alvin, Gordon (Rose), and Karl (Audrey); and brother-in-law, Mike Sikich.

The family wishes to extend their heartfelt thanks to the caring, wonderful staff at Waterview Pines and Ken’s hospice nurses.


A memorial service will be held Thursday, October 3, 2019 at Range Funeral Home at 2:00 pm with visitation one hour prior. Pastor Kari Olson will officiate. Arrangements are with Range Funeral Home in Virginia. To sign the online guest book or to send condolences, please visit

To plant a tree in memory of Kenneth Johnson as a living tribute, please visit Tribute Store.

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