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William A. Johnson

February 16, 2019
William A. Johnson
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Obituary for William A. Johnson

Bill was born on Sept. 29, 1951 in Grantsburg, WI. He was baptized in his family’s church, Trinity Lutheran Church of Falun. 

Bill attended school in Alpha and Grantsburg, graduating from Grantsburg High School in 1969. Bill was voted most athletic in his class. 

Bill started work at Northwestern Wisconsin Electric Company in June of 1969. Bill had many jobs during his 44-year career with the company. Bill said he learned a lot during his apprenticeship with Ray V. Johnson. Bill was given the task of mapping the system’s power lines and keeping inventory (which included numbering each power pole). Later Bill worked with Clarence Wagman on keeping continuous property records and with Gene Olson on power line staking.  Bill also spent time reading meters and in the trenches, working with the underground line crew. He completed lineman apprentice school in 1982 and in 1989 became line supervisor of the crews, a position he held until his retirement for health reasons in 2013. Bill was fortunate to love his job (with perhaps the only exception being having to tell folks he had to cut down their trees).

Bill asked Priscilla Bauer on a date in 1971 and thus began their 48-year relationship. Throughout the years they enjoyed trips to Colorado and Canada, collecting antiques, taking rides on Crex Meadows, fishing, and going out to eat.

An avid sportsman, Bill loved fishing on the St. Croix River, the lakes of Burnett County and Canada. Bill was a life-long hunter with bow hunting being his passion. (Cilla, in what must have been a weak moment, bought Bill his first bow). Bill and his friends spend many happy years hunting together. Bill found great pleasure hunting the land he owned behind his home in Alpha and north of Grantsburg. Always the generous guy, Bill shared his love of the land with his friends, inviting them to hunt his property in his favorite spots. 

Even as his health failed and Bill was unable to go hunting he still liked taking trips around the Crex and roads north of Grantsburg to look for deer and turkey (while listening to Willie Nelson’s Roadhouse on the radio). 

Bill liked going to Grantsburg High School football games, catching all the action from the comfort of his truck.  

Bill spent many hours in his recliner watching Wisconsin Badger and Green Bay Packers football games, old westerns, and the history channel.  

Bill loved books, collecting them and reading them. In recent years he found comfort reading many biographies, histories of America and the old west, and Louis Lamour novels. 

Bill grew up listening to his mother Helen play guitar and sing old time country tunes giving him a life-long love for the music. Bill enjoyed listening to the Midwest Country TV show and when he saw singer, Maggie Mae on the program he became an instant fan. Bill and friends made several trips to Sandstone, Minnesota to see her perform. Getting his picture taken with her was an added bonus. 

In recent years Bill liked going to garage sales with friends John and Jerry. He would come home with all sorts of treasures and some things he would simply explain buying by saying “But they were just so cheap!” 

When it wasn’t garage sale season Bill liked checking out online auctions or going to the Milltown Auction House where he could sit in a comfortable chair and bid on items to add to his collections of antiques (of which he had quite a few), old fishing lures being especially fun for him to find.  

After retirement Bill struggled with multiple health issues, which greatly limited his ability to do many of the activities he so enjoyed. One thing he looked forward to was going to the Kozy Kitchen for breakfast and conversation with friends.  

While Bill’s health kept him from doing many of the things he loved Bill continued trying to be as active and involved for as long as he was able with his determined spirit for life. 

Bill will be sadly missed by Cilla, his family and friends. 

Bill was preceded in death by his grandparents, Charles and Jessie Nordstrom and Albert and Ida Johnson, his parents, Helen Wicklund and Alden Johnson, aunts, uncles, cousins, and his much loved kitty, T.C. 

Bill is survived by his long-time friend and companion, Cilla Bauer, brothers, Vernon (Sonny) (Myrna) Bistram and Gary (Bonnie) Johnson, sisters, Beverly (Steve) Baker and Gladys (Chuck) Becvar, nephews, Dale (Dawn) Bistram, Adam Johnson, Earl Baker, John and Frank Becvar. Nieces, Donna (Brian) Bistram-Hammons, Sarah (Brentt) Michalek, Mary (Ryan) Schweikert, Jane Baker, great nieces, Ashley Bistram, McKenna Hammons, Kelsey (Scott) Bauer, Lauren Michalek, Reily Schweikert, Taylor Ruskanen, great nephews, Michael Bistram, Adam Johnson, Derek Michalek, Chandler Sahr, Elijah Whitford, great-great niece and nephew, Ella King and Gabriel Bauer. Cousins and many friends. 

A memorial service will be held for Bill on Sat. March 9 at Trinity Lutheran Church in Falun. Visitation will at 10 a.m. and service at 11 a.m. followed by lunch.  

You are invited to leave condolences, memories and photos at www.rowefh.com . Arrangements are entrusted to Rowe Funeral Home in Frederic, 715-327-4475 and the Northwest Wisconsin Cremation Center in Milltown, www.wicremationcenter.com .

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Previous Events

Visitation

Saturday

9

Mar

10:00 AM 3/9/2019 10:00:00 AM - 11:00 AM 3/9/2019 11:00:00 AM
Trinity Lutheran Church

10394 State Road 70
Falun, WI 54872

Trinity Lutheran Church
10394 State Road 70 Falun 54872 WI
United States

Memorial Service

Saturday

9

Mar

11:00 AM 3/9/2019 11:00:00 AM
Trinity Lutheran Church

10394 State Road 70
Falun, WI 54872

Trinity Lutheran Church
10394 State Road 70 Falun 54872 WI
United States
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