Douglas Allen Johnson, Age 81, died on September 7th, after a long battle with myelofibrosis.
Doug was born on August 20th, 1938 to Elmer S. and Rose (Moseley) Johnson in Black River Falls, WI. After the death of his mother in 1943 he was sent to live with his Aunt and Uncle (Paul & Gladys Paulson) in Cataract, WI. This is where he grew to love farming and growing things. He graduated from Sparta, WI High School in 1957. He was a proud and willing participant in the Longitudinal Study conducted by the University of Wisconsin. This study followed individuals from their senior year in high school until their life ended.
Doug joined the Navy in December of 1957 and served for almost 5 years. He served aboard the aircraft carrier the Hornet as well as other carriers. He was able to see Hawaii, Japan, and came close to Vietnam before he came home.
After doing various jobs after getting out of the Navy, he found his way “up North” to Hayward where he owned and operated the OK Egg Ranch. That was how he met his future wife, Laura Hopp, while delivering eggs. They were married on November 19, 1966 and eventually had three children. He sold the egg business and went to work for the Town of Hayward where he eventually moved on to the Sawyer County Highway Department with whom he retired from in 1993.
While working for Sawyer County, he also purchased a small dairy farm which allowed him to participate in his love of farming, animals, and growing things. He loved going out to milk the cows and growing/harvesting crops. When his health began to decline, he sold the farm. Not one to sit around and be idle, he took up the hobby of restoring antique John Deere tractors and various brands of antique peddle tractors. When his health made it difficult to continue with the restorations, he concentrated on his other love of gardening. He got good at raising “crops” of fruit and vegetables; he opened a road side stand called Farmer Doug’s produce. Through the stand he got the opportunity to meet and visit with different people. He really enjoyed visiting with all of his “girls” when they stopped by each year to get vegetables.
Doug was survived by his wife, Laura, 2 daughters, Kristi Honigmann, Hayward and Larissa (Eric) Jacobson, Alma Center, WI and a son, Jay (Tracey) Johnson of Trego. Along with 5 granddaughters: Heidi (Robert) Jarvis, Paige Johnson, Dea, Kaia, and Leja Jacobson, 2 step-grandchildren: Amanda Phinn and Jeff Phinn, 3 step-great-grandson, and Mother–in-Law, Dorothy Hopp. Preceding him in death were Elmer and Rose Johnson (his parents), Kent A. Johnson (brother), Susan Johnson (sister), and Basil (Blackie) Hopp (father-in-law).