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James Harlan Johnson

Fri, Sep 19th, 2003
Posted in Obituaries

James Harlan Johnson, 82, of Rushford died September 17, 2003, at his home following a short and courageous battle with melanoma cancer.

Harlan was born on June 2, 1921, in Preble Township of Fillmore County to Selmer and Hannah (Hilden) Johnson. He was baptized on June 26, 1921, at the First Lutheran Church in Mabel, Minn. and was confirmed on October 11, 1936 at the Hauge Evangelical Lutheran Church. He attended Choice School and graduated from Fillmore County Schools on July 8, 1936, in Preston, Minn. Harlan was drafted on October 22, 1942, to World War II and was sent to New Guinea with K Company of the 127th Army Infantry, a part of the Michigan Wisconsin. He was Gunner in a rifle company and made many beach landings in route to the Philippines, where the fighting was daily. Harlan had ended a 118 day assault on the Bagulo Trail of Luzon when the war ended. He was seriously wounded on March 20, 1944, on Luzon Island. Harlan was in a New Guinea hospital for 9 months. Harlan was awarded a Purple Heart and Good Conduct Medal. Harlan returned to the United States on October 13, 1945 and discharged on November 7, 1945, at Camp McCoy, Wisconsin. Harlan returned home to farm with his brother Allen for 7 years. In 1952, he worked as a carpenter for Himlie Construction in Rushford for several years, and later worked as a carpenter for Ralph Scharmer and Sons, Inc. for 24 years. Harlan served on the Rushford Fire Department for 24 years. He was a member of the Rushford Lutheran Church, was Quarter Master and Commander of the Rushford V.F.W., charter member of the Mabel V.F.W., and was a member of the Mabel American Legion for 58 years. Harlan married Delaine Johnson on August 30, 1968, at Rushford Lutheran Church.

He is survived by his wife, Delaine; two step-children: Fay (Charles) Olson of Spring Grove, Minn. and Gary Dean Davidson of Minneapolis, Minn. Three step-grandchildren: Five great-grandchildren; one sister, Charlotte (James) Slifka of Medford, Minn. one sister in law, Beverly Johnson; Harlan was preceded in death by his sister Stella and her husband Carl Tudahl and his brother LeVerne Johnson. 

The funeral service was September 19, 2003, at Rushford Lutheran Church with the Rev. Roger Michaelson officiating. Burial was in the Choice Community Cemetery in Choice, Minn. Hoff Funeral Homes Rushford Chapel was in charge of arrangements.

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