Dell Rapids

Pastor Earl D. Johnson, 77, of Dell Rapids, passed away late Thursday, May 24, 2018, at the Bethany Home in Brandon, after a long battle with several illnesses. 

His funeral service was held on Tuesday, May 29, at the Lutheran Church of Dell Rapids, and visitation was on Monday, May 28, at the same church. Interment was in the Willow Creek Cemetery, rural Dell Rapids. 

Earl was born on July 18, 1940, on the family farm near Trimont, Minn., to Arne and Ragnal Johnson. On the farm, Earl lived with his parents, six siblings and a grandmother. He went to school in Minnesota and graduated from Truman High School, Truman, Minn., in 1958.

For three years, Earl farmed with his father, then decided on attending Concordia College, Moorhead. From there, he went to Luther Seminary in St. Paul after his graduation from college, with plans on becoming a pastor. 

Earl married Linda Christensen from Forestburg on June 24, 1967, at Forestburg Lutheran Church.

While at Seminary, Earl had a small house painting company, specializing in “big houses no one else wanted to paint.” Linda taught elementary music in several schools during those years. Earl graduated from Seminary in 1970.

Earl started as a pastor in Colorado, but eventually moved to Dell Rapids and served the Lutheral Church of Dell Rapids and Willow Creek Lutheran Church. 

He did a great deal of service work for the Dell Rapids community, including helping to organize the local Food Pantry there.

Earl ended his career as a pastor having preached in 21 churches in a 30-mile radius plus 12 more churches elsewhere in the state.

He is survived by his wife, Linda, son Carl (Kathy) Johnson of Sioux Falls; daughter, Elizabeth Johnson of Dell Rapids; son Andrew (Becky) Johnson of Tea; seven grandchildren; and his siblings, cousins, nieces, and nephews.

Earl requested his memorials benefit the ELCA Disaster Aid for Refugees and also the building funds at both Lutheran Church of Dell Rapids and Willow Creek Lutheran.

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