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Richard E. Johnson

February 3, 1957 November 30, 2019
Richard E. Johnson
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Obituary for Richard E. Johnson

Richard E. Johnson, age 62, of Stockton, WI passed away peacefully on Saturday, November 30, 2019 while under the care of his loving wife and hospice services.

Rich was born February 3, 1957 to Dick and Connie (Loftis) Johnson in Rockford, IL. He grew up in Loves Park, IL, and attended local schools. He graduated from Harlem High School where he excelled in tennis. Rich attended Rock Valley College until transferring to the University of Stevens Point in 1977. Rich graduated with a BS in Physical Education and later received his Master of Arts in Education from Viterbo University.

Rich married Deborah J. Pierce in 1992. They celebrated their 27th wedding anniversary in October.

In his earlier years, Rich worked at Forest Hills Country Club as a grounds-keeper. He liked sharing his mowing prowess and night-time watering misadventures to anyone who would listen. Following his move to Stevens Point, Rich was employed at the Stevens Point YMCA. At the “Y” Rich wore several hats: teaching hundreds of kids how to swim, offering programs for adults with disabilities and coaching Special Olympics. Shortly after receiving his teaching degree, he was hired by the Stevens Point Public School District. Initially he taught adaptive physical education for students with disabilities. Rich later taught physical education at Kennedy and McKinley Elementary Schools. Teaching was what defined Rich…teaching was the foundation of his life’s purpose. It was very difficult for him when his teaching career ended prematurely in August 2009 due to his neurological disease.

In addition to his fulltime career as a teacher, Rich’s dedication and devotion to education was also reflected by his involvement in extracurricular school programs such as Special Sports, Jump Rope for Heart, after school running club, open gym, and much, much more. Rich assisted with the expansion of the Boys and Girls Club to Kennedy Elementary and was its first program director. In his spare time, Rich enjoyed being active. He was an avid road bicyclist and enjoyed his daily work outs at the “Y”. Rich also enjoyed spending quiet time at his cabin; reading, listening to his favorite music, and writing. I know one of his life disappointments was that he did not see his writings published. Some of his favorite authors were Thoreau, Poe and Charles Dickens. He also loved playing his grandfather’s accordion, fishing for the elusive musky (which he would have promptly released) and playing with and caring for his two precious ferrets; Cooper and ZuZu. He cheered for his beloved Chicago sport teams; the Bulls, the White Sox, Blackhawks, and of course, the Bears!

Survivors include his wife, Deb Pierce-Johnson; father, Dick Johnson; sister, Lynda (Clay) Goodman; brothers-in-law, Larry (Diana) Pierce, Fr. Mark Pierce, and Scott (Evelyn) Pierce; nieces and nephews: Tanner, Abbye (Brandon) Wilson, Alex, Ben, and Kate; Aunt Nola Loftis, and his “second Mom” Joan Traff. He will be missed by very special friends Mary Jane and John from Birch Lake… and many more co-workers and friends.

Rich was preceded in death by his mother, Connie, his paternal grandparents (Mau and Bamps), his maternal aunt and uncle; Ellen and Harold, and his “second dad”, Jerry Traff. Special thanks to my “partners” who helped me care for Rich over the past 10 years: Tonna and Randy Ambrosius, Marshfield Long Term Care and Heartland Hospice Care.

A Memorial Service celebrating Rich’s life will be held on Thursday, December 5th at 7:00 p.m. at Boston Funeral Home with Fr. Mark Pierce presiding. Time for gathering and reminiscing with family and friends will precede the service beginning at 5:00 p.m. Interment will be held, at a later date, in Guardian Angel Cemetery.

In lieu of flowers, Rich would have wanted his family and friends to reach out to others with an Act of Kindness.

“To my Boog- I will love you forever, plus a day.”


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Previous Events

Visitation

Thursday

5

Dec

5:00 PM 12/5/2019 5:00:00 PM - 7:00 PM 12/5/2019 7:00:00 PM
Boston Funeral Home

1649 Briggs St.
Stevens Point, WI 54481

Boston Funeral Home
1649 Briggs St. Stevens Point 54481 WI
United States

Service

Thursday

5

Dec

7:00 PM 12/5/2019 7:00:00 PM - 7:45 PM 12/5/2019 7:45:00 PM
Boston Funeral Home

1649 Briggs St.
Stevens Point, WI 54481

Boston Funeral Home
1649 Briggs St. Stevens Point 54481 WI
United States

Cemetery Details

Location

Guardian Angel Cemetery Final Resting Place

1225 Frontenac Ave.
Stevens Point, WI 54481

1225 Frontenac Ave. Stevens Point 54481 WI
United States
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