Funeral services for Floren “Barney” Magnus Johnson, age 98, of Milaca, will be held Monday, December 23, 2013 at 2:00 p.m. at Trinity Lutheran Church in Milaca with Rev. Tim Bauer officiating. Interment will follow at Forest Hill Cemetery. Military honors will be provided by Hansen-Hayes American Legion Post #178 and Siemers-Hakes VFW Post #10794. Visitation will be held one hour prior to services at the church. Providing music for the service will be Cheryl Bailey and Sophie Bauer. Serving as casket bearers will be Jim Johnson, Linda Skinner, Janet Ross, Jerry Johnson, Becky Coppoc, and Jon Swedin.
Floren was born May 27, 1915, to Victor and Annie Johnson on a farm near Russell, Minnesota. In 1918, the family moved to Milaca and in 1919 moved again to a farm in Page Township. Here, he grew up and attended school in Whitney Brook. He was a member of the Minnesota National Guard Unit in Milaca. In 1941 the guard was called into federal service. In 1943, the unit became the 995 F.A.BN and went to North Africa and then to Italy. With this unit, he took part in five campaigns, Naples-Fogia, Rome Arno, Southern France, Rineland, and Central Europe. The 995 was in combat 472 days and earned five battle stars. He was honorably discharged and returned to Milaca in the fall of 1945. He was a member of the American Legion and the Veterans of Foreign Wars.
On July 1, 1950, Floren married Christina Dobbelaire Johnson. They moved to a farm in Borgholm Township, where they lived for 42 years. They built a successful dairy farm and later had an equally successful beef farm operation. He was clerk of the Bock School Board for two terms. He worked for the City of Milaca from 1964-1977. He and Christina retired and moved to Milaca in 1992 where Floren lived until shortly before his death.
Floren passed away Thursday, December 19, 2013, at the Heritage House in Milaca.
He is survived by his son, Jim (Jeanette) Johnson of Anoka; daughter, Linda (Mark) Skinner of Milaca; grandchildren Jerry Johnson, Janet Ross, Becky Coppoc, and Jon Swedin; step-grandchildren Jennifer (Shawn) Otterson and Joe (Loretta) Skinner; and many great-grandchildren and great-great grandchildren.
He was preceded in death by his wife, Chris (1998); sister, Ferne Molander (2005); and brothers, Russell (infancy) and Bill (1975).