Gilbert Donald Johnson was born on July 27, 1924 in Eidsvold Township, Lyon County, Minnesota to
Gilbert and Bertina (Heggeseth) Johnson. Gilbert grew up in rural Minneota, and was confirmed in the
Lutheran faith on November 12, 1939 at Hemnes Lutheran Church in Minneota. After graduating from
Minneota High School, he enlisted in the U.S. Army and served during World War II in the Asiatic Pacific
Theater. He was the recipient of a Victory Medal and Good Conduct Medal. After his honorable
discharge in 1946, he returned to Southwest Minnesota. On March 10, 1950, he was united in marriage
to Ardis Lucille Ouverson. In 1976, he became a member of First Lutheran Church in Marshall and
remained a faithful member for life. The couple farmed and later operated restaurants in Tracy and
Springfield before moving to Marshall. He received his Engineering License from the Department of Labor and
Industry. Gilbert and Ardis managed the Lyon County Retirement Home for 21 years, retiring in
1997. He lived his remaining years at the Lyon County Retirement Home.
He enjoyed watching professional wrestling, and listening to country western and polka music. He enjoyed occasional trips with his daughters to local casinos to play his favorite slot machine “Sizzling 7’s”. He liked traveling the southern United States, spending many winters in Arizona enjoying the weather, family and friends. A major traveling highlight was an Alaskan Cruise in 2002 with family. He loved challenging his grandchildren with card games and checkers. His dry sense of humor and clever joking were enjoyed by many, and his witty comments were considered priceless!
Gilbert died peacefully on Tuesday, January 5, 2016, at the Avera Marshall Regional Medical
Center in Marshall surrounded by his family. He is survived by his daughters Bette (and Dale) Rolland of
Apache Junction, AZ, and Joyce (and Gerald) Kopet of Shakopee, MN, grandchildren Chad Rolland,
Jeremy Johnson, Bridget Johnson, Jennifer Varpness, Troy Buysse, Nathan Johnson, Melissa Hasert,
Jessica Kopet, Jeffrey Kopet, great-grandchildren, Isabella, Olivia, Derek, Justin, Bridget, Madison, Jake, Noah,
Shianne, Logan, Kierra and Kamiya, many nieces, nephews, relatives and friends. He was preceded in
death by his parents, wife Ardis, son Douglas Johnson, daughter Barbara Abel, daughter Donna Roles, son Gilbert Johnson Jr., brothers Elmer, Truman, Walter, James, Clifford, Jens, and Stanley, and sisters
Agnes and Helen.