James Dale Johnson, Sr. (Jimmy) was born November 7, 1958 in Duluth, Minnesota to Richard and Alys Johnson. After struggling the past few years with complications from diabetes, he passed away November 14, 2021, at the age of 63 while being treated at St. Luke's Hospital in Duluth. Jimmy was known for his gruff demeanor and his big heart and will be missed by family and friends.
Jimmy wore many hats in his life. While attending school at Duluth Central High School, he worked for the Army Corps of Engineers. Then in 1977, he joined the U.S. Navy where he served as a cook. After honorably serving for seven years, he attended school for printing and worked at Scoville Press in Plymouth, MN. During this time he met Cindy Christianson and her three year old daughter, Julie. They were married in 1982. In 1983 they became a family of four with the birth of Jimmy, Jr.
In the 1990’s, he became the owner of three businesses in Meadowlands, MN: Jimmy’s Galley and Quik Stop, then the Sea-Dog Saloon. During that time he also was trained and served as an EMT. After years of being a successful business owner in the community, he became a cook at The Arrowhead Juvenile Center in Duluth. While there, he helped begin a culinary program for young people.
Jimmy was preceded in death by his parents. He is survived by his son, James Jr. of Proctor, MN and daughter Julie of Burnsville, MN; siblings Rick of Cloquet, MN, Jeff (Jeri) of Trempealeau, WI, Lori of Duluth, MN, Normalynn (John) of Kettle River, MN, and Corey (Judy) of Hibbing, MN; grandchildren Makenzy, Kaylea and Taylor, as well as several cousins, nieces and nephews.
A funeral will be held Monday, November 22, at 2:00 PM at the Minnesota State Veterans Cemetary, 4777 US- 53, Saginaw, MN. Following the ceremony, a gathering will be held at the Carlton VFW. A celebration of life will be held in the future, the date to be announced. In lieu of flowers, memorials can be directed to Vietnam Veterans of America, or a donation to the family for the funeral costs.