Rev. Ralph F. Johnson, son of Hulda (Edlund) Johnson and John F. Johnson, was born March 13, 1913 in Dassel, Minnesota. He graduated from Dassel, Minnesota high school in 1931; University of Minnesota in 1938, and Bethel Theological Seminary in 1939.
On September 8, 1938, Ralph was united in marriage to Clarene Petersen. Rev. Johnson began his ministry in Loon Lake Baptist Church in Jackson county, Minnesota from 1939-1942. He then served in Rapid City, South Dakota from 1943-1948; Spicer, Minnesota from 1948-1949; Oelwein, Iowa from 1949-1954; Mason City, Iowa from 1954-1959; Clinton, Iowa from 1959-1964, and Mankato, Minnesota from 1964-1967. He served part-time at Bass Lake Community Church from 1974-1984. Ralph had also worked at Owatonna State School from 1967-1968 and Blue Earth County Human Services from 1968-1976. On October 13, 1981, Clarene passed away. In 1986 Ralph served as interim pastor at the First Baptist Church in Mount Ayr from 1986-1987. While in Mount Ayr, Ralph met Donella Jackson and they were married August 22, 1987.
Ralph died August 23, 2009 at Clearview Home in Mount Ayr. He was preceded in death by his parents; wife, Clarene, and sister, Irene Johnson.
Survivors include his wife, Donella Johnson of Mount Ayr, Iowa; children, Karin (Alan) Yungclas of Webster City, Iowa, Kathryn (Richard) Long of West Dundee, Illinois, Joanne (Stefan) Sylvander of Saint Paul, Minnesota, Marshall (Stephanie Furniss-Johnson) Johnson of San Geronimo, California and Ralph Gregory Johnson of Oakland, California; seven grandchildren, Dawn (Huntley) Paton, Jennifer (fianc?? Joe Gilbert) Struchen, Cara (Dane) Hartzell, Candace (Sean) Postol, Bradley (Loni) Perrin, Christine (Mike) Shyne and Mia Johnson; 13 great-grandchildren; one great-great-grandchild; stepdaughter, Jeannie (Vic) Ruff of Ankeny, Iowa; two stepgrandchildren, Emily (Rick) Burroughs and Aaron (Heather) Ruff, and one stepgreat-grandchild, Cecilia.
Memorials are to the United Baptist Presbyterian Church in Mount Ayr and Children & Families Urban Ministries in Des Moines. Arrangements were by Watson-Armstrong Funeral Home in Mount Ayr.
Services were conducted at the United Baptist-Presbyterian Church in Mount Ayr on Wednesday, August 26, 2009, with Rev. Mike Maddy and Rev. Carmen Lampe Zeitler officiating. Musicians were Marshall Johnson and Nancy Sackett.
Casket bearers were Alan Yungclas, Richard Long, Stefan Sylvander, Vic Ruff, Aaron Ruff and Rick Burroughs.
Committal services will be held at Dassel Cemetery in Dassel, Minnesota at 3 p.m. Thursday, August 27, 2009.