JOHNSON, Leonard C., age 87
Died: Thursday, January 18th, 2024
Funeral Service: 11:00 a.m. on Saturday, January 27, 2024 at Our Redeemer Lutheran Church in Eau Claire
Visitation: from 5:-7:00 p.m. on Friday evening at the funeral home and also from 9:30 a.m. until time of service at church on Saturday
A private interment will be held at a later date.
The family would prefer gifts/memorials be given in memory of Leonard to: UWEC Foundation https://foundation.uwec.edu/, Camp Luther in Three Lakes WI https://campluther.com/, or WI Public Radio https://wpr.org
Leonard Curtis Johnson, age 87, passed away Thursday, January 18, 2024, at River Pines in Altoona, Wisconsin surrounded by his loved ones.
Leonard was born on September 23, 1936, a child of the Depression and the turbulence and trials of WWII. His life reflected those moments. He was a man who everyone agreed was kind, thoughtful, and a humble servant by nature. These traits led him to join the U.S. Army in the aftermath of the Korean conflict and at the start of the Cold War. While serving in Germany he learned to be a medic. To while away his little free time, he took up slide photography and recorded the sights of postwar Europe. He carried that hobby with him the rest of his life.
Upon returning from overseas he met, courted, and eventually married Connie Lou Allen of his hometown Waupun, WI. After completing his training to become one of the few male registered nurse anesthetists of the time, they moved to their eventual home of Eau Claire, Wisconsin. They raised three children, Beth, Mark, and Eric. His wanderlust never ceased and the family spent many days touring around North America in their Chevy pulling a pop-up camper. Memorial and Labor Day weekends were reserved for Wissota State Park or Jellystone Campground with close friends from the family church, Our Redeemer. He also spent many evenings and weekends out on the local waters hoping to land the big one: which he eventually did - a 47" northern pike on 5lb test!
Leonard devoted his whole life to the congregation in a volunteer leadership capacity. He served as President, several terms on the board of the church, and attended the Synodical Convention on behalf of the church many times. He enjoyed leading Bible Studies, singing in the choir, and playing in the local church dartball league.
Professionally, he is remembered fondly by patients and coworkers alike. Even 25 years after retirement, they would come up to him and thank him for the care and reassuring manner with which he carried out his task as a "gas passer". Something he jokingly referred to himself as. His coworkers appreciated his leadership of the department at Luther Hospital before it was folded into the Eau Claire Anesthesia Group. Though living on the North side of town, he could be seen riding his bike to and from work almost year-round, long before such an endeavor was en vogue.
Although not much of an athlete himself, he loved and supported athletics. He coached some of the first soccer teams in Eau Claire and cheered on his children as they played and coached at Eau Claire North. He was a fervent supporter of Badger Athletics, UW Blue Golds, and the Green Bay Packers.
Leonard is survived by his wife Connie; children, Beth (Brian) Hahn, Mark (Lisa) and Eric (Brenda); grandchildren, Sydney, Danielle, and Collin Hahn, Evan, Hannah, Quinn, and Rory Johnson; sister, Arlene Drewa; many nieces, nephews, other relatives and friends.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Albert and Grace (Dykman) Johnson; grandson, Reece.