April 5, 1945 - January 11, 2015


Funeral Services will be 2:00 p.m. Friday, January 16, 2015 at Shepherd of the Pines Lutheran Church in Rice for Harlen L. Johnson, age 69, who passed away Sunday at Hennepin County Medical Center in Minneapolis. Rev. Robert Trinklein will officiate. Visitation will be from 12-2 p.m. Friday at the church. Arrangements have been entrusted to Williams Dingmann Family Funeral Home, Sauk Rapids.

On April 5, 1945 in Heron Lake, MN, Harold and Aletta (Skogen) Johnson welcomed a baby boy, Harlen Leon. His family owned and operated a large chicken farm. He graduated from Windom High School where he played football and wrestled. He served his country in the U.S. Army after school and was in the National Guard for many years. He attended Lee Barber School in St. Paul where he also met his future wife. On June 5, 1965, Harlen married Janice Shatka in Browerville. He was employed for over 20 years as a barber and was also a referee for both football and wrestling. During this time, they had two children, Scott and Sheri. Harlen had a deep yearning to serve the Lord and answered this call in 1983 when he attended and graduated from Lutheran Brethern Seminary in Fergus Falls. His first call brought him to Perley, MN with pastorships in Newark, IL and Jewell, IA following. He came back to Minnesota in 2005 to be close to his daughter and grandsons Cole, Devin and Logan where he served in both Carlos and Randall.

Harlen enjoyed hunting, fishing, target shooting, new gadgets, painting, an occasional Ole and Lena joke and the traditional Christmas lutefisk and lefse. He loved serving the Lord and delivering His Word. He was an avid sports fan, enjoyed watching his grandsons play football and was known to use the word Uffda a time or two. He was a wonderful husband, father, grandfather, brother, friend and mentor who will be dearly missed by his family and friends.

Survivors include his wife, Jan Johnson; son, Scott Johnson; daughter, Sheri (Johnson) Douvier; grandsons Cole, Devin and Logan Douvier all of St. Joseph; and sister, Arlis Christenson of Ridgecrest, CA. Harlen was preceded in death by his parents, Harold and Aletta Johnson; grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins.

In lieu of flowers, memorials are preferred.

For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith – and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God ~ Ephesians 2:8