R. Earl “Rags” Johnson, 65, died Tuesday, Oct. 28, 2008, at the Northern Montana Hospital from pulmonary edema.
Viewing will be held Thursday from 1 to 4 p. m. at the Holland & Bonine Funeral Chapel. Cremation will take place and his graveside service will be 11 a.m. Friday at the Highland Cemetery with military graveside honors. Earl’s memorial service will be 1 p.m. on Friday at the First Lutheran Church with Pastor Michael O’Hearn officiating. A fellowship will be held at the church immediately after the service. Earl was born Jan. 23, 1943, in Conrad to Reuben and Alta (Bliss) Johnson. As a young boy he moved with his family to Kremlin in 1948. In 1959 his family purchased a farm north of Havre. Earl attended school in Havre and then transferred back to Kremlin, where he graduated in 1961 from Kremlin High School. He attended college, studying liberal arts. Earl met Terry Kjorli and the couple married Dec. 18, 1965, in Havre at the First Lutheran Church. Ten days later Earl was drafted into the United States Army for the Vietnam War and was stationed in Germany where his daughter Wendy was born. Earl was honorably discharged in December 1967. Earl returned to Havre after his discharge and worked as a carpenter and custom combiner. He started farming in 1971 north of Havre. Earl was a man of the land; he enjoyed farming and was a hard worker. He enjoyed classic cars, spending winters in Arizona and four-wheeling in the desert. His greatest enjoyment was the time he spent with his family and his grandsons. He was preceded in death by his parents and his brother Lloyd Johnson. Earl is survived by his wife of 42 years, Terry Johnson of Havre; daughter, Wendy (Bill) Nevala of Rochester, Minn.; three grandsons, Andy, Shawn and Zach Nevala, all of Rochester; brother Bill (Evelyn) Johnson of Havre; mother-in-law, Mildred Kjorli of Havre; and many nieces, nephews and cousins. Memorial contributions in Earl’s honor may be made to a memorial of one’s choice. Services and arrangements have been entrusted to Holland & Bonine Funeral Home.