Melvin Johnson, 86, South Range, died Thursday, Dec. 28, 2006, in St. Mary's Medical Center, Duluth. He was born in Oulu Jan. 23, 1920, to Arvid and Helmi Olivia (Mattson) Johnson. He married Vivian Rantala July 26, 1951, in Oulu and celebrated 5...
Melvin Johnson, 86, South Range, died Thursday, Dec. 28, 2006, in St. Mary's Medical Center, Duluth.
He was born in Oulu Jan. 23, 1920, to Arvid and Helmi Olivia (Mattson) Johnson.
He married Vivian Rantala July 26, 1951, in Oulu and celebrated 51 years of marriage.
Melvin had been employed as an electrician for the Burlington Northern Railroad for many years before his retirement. He previously had been a merchant mariner on the Great Lakes. He also worked for the former O and M Elevators in Superior and had been a logger and farmer.
He was an avid outdoorsman who loved to hunt and fish.
He served his country during World War II in the South Pacific and the Sea of Japan.
Melvin's and Vivian's grandparents were the founding members of the Hope Lutheran Church in Oulu.
He was a member of the Peace Lutheran Church, Poplar, the Itasca Acacia Masonic Lodge and the Jarvenpaa Singers of Duluth.
In addition to his wife, Vivian, Melvin is survived by three daughters, Bonnie West, South Range, Gail (Gary) Saari, Maple and Elaine (David) Paul, Gilbert, Ariz.; six sons, Todd (Patty) Johnson, Superior, Terry Johnson, Maple, Tony Johnson, Tim (Kim) Johnson and Thomas (Susan) Johnson, all of South Range, and Theodore (Debbie) Johnson, South Pittsburgh, Tenn.; 19 grandchildren; two great-grandchildren; one sister, Agnes (Ray) Laakso, Oulu; and several nieces and nephews.
He was preceded in death by a son, Tracy, his parents, one brother, Lester Johnson, and two sisters, Martha Hemmingson and Mildred Perala.
Visitation will be from noon until the 2 p.m. funeral service Saturday in Peace Lutheran Church, Poplar. Pastor Greg Gullicksrud and Pastor Antti Lepisto will co-officiate.
Melvin's sons will be pallbearers.
Lenroot-Maetzold Funeral Home is assisting the family with arrangements.