services for Harlyn Roger Johnson

Harlyn Roger Johnson, 88, of Clearbrook, MN, died on Wednesday, May 1, 2019 at Fargo Medical Center in Fargo, North Dakota


Memorial services will be held on Saturday, May 11, 2019 at 2:30 p.m. at First Baptist Church in Clearbrook, MN with a visitation one hour prior. A visitation will also be held the evening before on Friday, May 10, 2019 from 5:00- 7:00 p.m. with a Prayer Service at 6:30p.m. at the Cease Funeral Home of Bagley, Minnesota. Interment will be at a later date at Maple Hill Cemetery in Clearbrook, MN. The Cease Family Funeral Home of Bagley assisted the family with arrangements.


Harlyn was always tickled to say that he was born on Ground Hog Day, February 2, 1931 at the rural family farm in Gonvick, MN. On April 15, 1955 he was joined in marriage with DeVonne Emmel.


Harlyn attended public school in Gonvick, MN.


He ran his own thrashing team when he was 13. Because of his father’s poor health, Harlyn took over responsibility of the family farm when he was 14. He continued to work his father’s farm even after he had started his own farm and family. In 1964 he purchased the Clearbrook school buses from his father in law, Louis Emmel, and along with Vonnie, ran Johnson Bus Service for thirty years until retirement in 1994. Keeping the buses in tip-top shape was extremely important to Harlyn.


In 1946 Harlyn’s life took a new turn when he accepted Jesus in his heart at the Pine Lake tent meetings. He was a strong, faithful and active Christian leader for his family first and the community as well. He was an integral member of First Baptist Church, Clearbrook. He was a deeply humble, generous man who preferred to work quietly behind the scenes, achieving much for the Lord while avoiding the spotlight.


After retirement Harlyn and Vonnie enjoyed many seasons as snowbirds in Texas and Florida and Harlyn really enjoyed playing golf in the south. They also enjoyed traveling after retirement and have seen 49 of the 50 states, missing out on Alaska. Harlyn loved snowmobiling, hunting deer and fishing. For him, the very best thing about being retired was spending time with his children, grandchildren and great grandchildren. We will long remember Harlyn’s sense of humor and good-natured teasing.


He is survived by his wife DeVonne (Emmel) Johnson, of Clearbrook; his children, Roz (Dave) Grage of Fergus Falls, MN, Doug (Robyn) Johnson of Gonvick, MN, and Theresa (Jeff) Porter of Clearbrook, MN; his grandchildren, Ky Grage, Moriah, Mikala, Sam and Luke Johnson, Jared (Andrea), Austin (Kayla), and Jackson Porter; his Great grandchildren, Brielle, Liam, Leah, Landon, Preston;       five sisters, Deloris (Loren) Nelson, Beverly (Harlan) Lindgren, Marilyn (Paul) Nelson, Estelle (Don) Rada, Mayzelle (Richard) Morlan; one brother, Maynard (Sandi) Johnson; and forty-one nieces and nephews.


Preceded in death by his parents, Axel and Marie (Snobeck) Johnson; his infant sister, Patricia; half brother, Selmer Okstad who was killed in WWII; sister, Arlyss (Arvid) Emmel;  brothers-in-law Arvid Emmel, Paul Nelson, Richard Morlan; and one niece and one nephew.


 Messages of condolence may be sent to



Richards Publishing

P.O. Box 159
239 2nd Ave
Gonvick, MN 56644
Telephone: (218) 487-5225

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