Erling Johnson

Published 12:00 am Sunday, January 17, 2010

Erling Nathan Johnson, 91, of Austin, died Thursday evening, Jan. 14, 2010 at Minnesota Valley Health Center in LeSueur. He was born Jan. 14, 1919 to Eddie M. and Nellie (Hagna) Johnson in Austin. He attended Sumner and Franklin grade schools, graduating from Austin High in 1936 and later, Waldorf College in Forest City, Iowa. 
A lifetime member of St. Olaf Lutheran Church, he helped publish two anniversary books of the history of St. Olaf Lutheran Church, served as superintendent of Sunday school and he sang in the choir from 1935 until 1978, excluding when he was in college and military service. At Waldorf, he was a member of the A Cappella Choir. He entered military service in April, 1942, serving in the US Army Medical Corps. During four years of active service, he had two years of overseas service including in Ireland, Wales and France. He continued service in the Officers’ Reserve Corps until 1953.
On Oct. 5, 1946, he was married to Elaine H. Hendrickson, the daughter of Henry and Marie Emelia Hendrickson of Blooming Prairie. He was employed as an accountant and office manager at the Austin Daily Herald, beginning in 1946 for 36 years until his retirement in January of 1982. During the last nine years of his employment, he also wrote a weekly column entitled, “UFFDA.” 
During his retirement, Johnson worked as an editor with a committee which published a Mower County history entitled, Mill on the Willow. Also a member of the Austin Kiwanis Club, Austin Male Chorus and Austin Choralaires, Johnson enjoyed researching local history. He also liked playing cards, golfing and square dancing.
Survivors include his wife, Elaine Johnson of Austin; three children, David A. (Sandra) Johnson of Le Sueur, Rev. Nancy E. (Wayne) Hansen of Waseca, Richard N. (Trudy) Johnson of Eden Prairie; nine grandchildren, Angelique R. Bents, Gerd J. Gina Bents, Benjamin M. (Elizabeth) Bents, Max P. Bents, Joshua D. Johnson, Scott N. Johnson, Zachary C. (Brit) Johnson, Claire K. Johnson; Samuel N. Johnson; one step-grandson, Jeff Hansen; three great-grandchildren, Raena C. Bents, Harm F. Bents and Caden B. Bents; two sisters, Shirley Opsal of Richfield, Lois (L.H. Williams, Jr.) of Kirkwood, Mo.; several nieces, nephews and cousins.
Funeral services will be held at 10:30 a.m., Monday, Jan. 19, 2010 at St. Olaf Lutheran Church in Austin with Pastor Kristi Koppel officiating. Friends may call from 4 to 7 p.m. Sunday at Worlein Funeral Home in Austin and at the church one hour prior to the service. Interment is at Oakwood Cemetery, Austin. 
Memorials are preferred to St. Olaf Lutheran Church Capital Fund Drive Campaign or to Gardenview Nursing Home in LeSueur. 
Condolences may be expressed to the family online at
Worlein Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.                            

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