November 23, 1932 - July 4, 2021


attachment-lew Johnson

Lew E. Johnson, age 88, of Sartell and Mesa, AZ, passed away at the St. Cloud Hospital Sunday, July 4. He died of cancer.

SERVICE TIMES NOT SET. Urn placement will be in the Bethlehem Lutheran Church Columbarium. Arrangements are with Benson Funeral Home, St. Cloud, MN.

Lew was born on November 23, 1932 in Colfax, WI to Louana (Rogers) and Ralph Johnson. In his youth he lived in Montevideo, MN, Van Nuys, CA and Moorhead, MN where he graduated from High School. He received both his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in education from Moorhead State. In 1955, he married Lila J. Hanson at Bethany Lutheran Church in Pennington County, MN.

Lew began his teaching career in Thief River Falls, MN. His children, Lori and Lon, were born there. He coached many sports at the elementary level and was active in the JCs. Lew continued his career in education in the St. Cloud public schools beginning in 1959 at Garfield Elementary. He served as school principal at Central, Madison, Wilson, Westwood, Jefferson, and Lincoln elementary schools before retiring in 1989. He was recognized for his work with the PTA and Community Education.

For the first 40 years of their life in St. Cloud, Lew and Lila were active members of Salem Lutheran Church. Lew served on the church council. For the past twenty years, Lew and Lila have been members of Our Savior’s Lutheran in Mesa, AZ and Bethlehem in St. Cloud.

Throughout his life, Lew was very health conscious and physically active. Lew was a runner and exercised religiously. He developed his own exercise routines and performed them until the end of his life.

After retiring he enjoyed spending time with his family (especially his grandchildren), playing bridge, and golfing at Little Crow CC in Spicer, MN and Sunland Village Golf Club in Mesa, AZ. Even before retiring, Lew and Lila enjoyed traveling extensively worldwide. They liked riverboat excursions and spent time on most of the rivers of the world. Lew accomplished his goal of traveling within all the continents. Two weeks after 9/11 (against their children’s advice), they flew to the middle east, toured Egypt, and saw the sights along the Nile. Lew and Lila visited Cuba in 2018 and cruised the Panama Canal in 2019.

During the pandemic he spent his time reading, watching sports on television (especially the golf channel) and telling his wife what to do.

Lew would list as his greatest sources of pride: his family and his career. Lew was a kind, generous, and gentle man giving the gift of his time to those he loved.

Lew is survived by his wife, Lila; daughter, Lori Johnson (Mike Kramm) of St. Cloud; son, Lon Johnson of Tustin, CA; grandchildren, Claire Johnson (Alan Lezama), Amie Johnson (Andrew Garcia), and Riley Johnson, several nieces and nephews; and many special friends.

He was proceeded in death by his parents; sister, Alpha Myers; and brother, Lee.