Robert L. Johnson

ST. JAMES – A Celebration of Life service for Robert L. Johnson, 89, of St. James, Minn., will be 2 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 16, 2013, at Hosanna Free Lutheran Church of St. James, Minn., with Pastor Joe Faldet officiating. Burial with full military honors by the St. James Honor Guard will be in Kansas Lake Lutheran Cemetery, rural Butterfield, Minn.

Robert was called to his eternal rest on Tuesday evening, Nov. 12, 2013, at Pleasant View Good Samaritan Society in St. James, Minn., surrounded by his family. Visitation and a time of sharing of memories with the Johnson family will be 5-7 p.m. today, Nov. 15, 2013, at Kramer Family Funeral Home in Trimont, Minn., and one hour prior to the service at the church on Saturday.

Personal words of comfort may be sent to the family online at

Robert Lawrence Johnson was born March 16, 1924, in Lockport, Ill., to Trugatt and Dorothy (Carlson) Johnson. He attended school in Truman and graduated from Trimont High School in 1942. After high school, he enlisted in the U.S. Navy and served in North Africa and Italy during World War II. He was married Feb. 20, 1948, to the beautiful Phyllis Jean Romsdahl. During the first years of their marriage, they moved frequently, returning to Minnesota in 1952. He worked at various positions, from meat cutter to grocery store owner to sales. They moved back to this area in 1964 when he became plant manager at the American Cyanamid plant in Ormsby where he worked until his retirement. Bob and Phyllis were active members of Hosanna Lutheran Free Church in St. James of which they were founding members in 1988. Bob enjoyed being with his family, reading, golf, travel and a good brand sharp cheddar cheese. He was well-known at the St. James Public Library. He was also known for his practical jokes and had quite a sense of humor. There are “Oh Bob” stories too numerous to count. He loved to get in the car and drive. He knew the shortcut to anywhere. His motto could have been “the road less traveled.”

He is survived by his three daughters, Leah (Bryan) Johnson of Rochester, Minn., LuAnn (Tom) Peterson of Trimont, Minn., and Lisa (Frank) Labby of Leesville, La.; his 14 grandchildren, Eric Johnson, Rochester, Minn., Britta Johnson (Patrick Blake), Mt. Horeb, Wis., Jennifer (Jack) Wenkel, New Bloomfield, Mo., Carrie Johnson, Madison, Wis., January (Rob) Elliott, Bemidji, Minn., Zachary Peterson, Trimont, Minn., Jordan Peterson, Trimont, Minn., Anneka (Mike) Keech, Mankato, Minn., Jesse Camelin, Fairmont, Minn., Alida Chamberlin, Colorado Springs, Colo., Analisa and MaryGrace Camelin, Leesville, La., Zachary Labby, Leesville, La., and Bethany Labby, Dallas, Texas.

He is also survived by his great-grandchildren, Kailee, Sam and Adam Johnson, Alex Blake, Grant, Bryce, and Bree Wenkel, Maya and Easton Elliott, Silas Keech, Makyla, Ariana and Leila Chamberlin, and Kaedon Brown. He is also survived by his sister, Marjorie Swanson of Willmar, Minn., and other relatives.

In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by his wife of 58 years, Phyllis; daughter, Leslie Jean; sisters, Joyce “Tootie” and Deanna Sharstrom; son-in-law, Jeramiah Chamberlin; and other relatives.