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JAMES JOHN "JIMMY JO" JOHANNSEN was born on May 2, 1943 to Clarence and Lillian (Remme) Johannsen in Luverne, Minnesota. He was baptized and received his confirmation at Zion Lutheran Church in Hardwick, Minnesota. Jim attended school in Hardwick through the eighth grade and then enrolled in the Luverne public schools. Growing up he always enjoyed fishing, hunting, trapping and playing football. Jim graduated from Luverne High School in 1961. He then furthered his education at Worthington Technical School in Worthington, Minnesota, while also played college football for one year until a knee injury forced him out of the game. Jim bought his first truck in 1962 and started his own trucking business. In 1964, he was hired as a deputy with the local law enforcement, a position he would hold until 1977. On October 3, 1965, Jim was united in marriage to Bonita Smith at the First Presbyterian Church in Luverne. In 1998, he began delivering fire trucks full-time for Luverne Truck. Bonnie preceded him in death on January 9, 2003 following a battle with breast cancer. Jim continued to reside at their home on Elm Street. He could often be found in his garage having conversations with his friends and loved the opportunity to get away up north to fish. Jim suffered a stroke in 2012 and was forced to retire. In 2017, he moved into the Good Samaritan Society – Mary Jane Brown Home in Luverne, where on Wednesday, September 22, 2021, Jim died peacefully at the age of 78 years, 4 months, and 20 days.
Jim joined the Luverne Fire Department in 1973 and from 1981 to 1997 he proudly served as the Fire Chief. He was an active member of the Minnesota Fire Chief Association. In 1996, he was named the “Friend of Education”. Jim never lost his love of fishing, hunting, and trapping which he thoroughly enjoyed his entire life. He also enjoyed traveling, coffee with the guys, brewing his own beer and cooking. He will be remembered for saying “krups” and “misses who” and his engaging ability to have a conversation with anyone who his path crossed.
Jim is survived by his two children, Mark (Karrie) Johannsen of Parker, Colorado and Crystal (Cory) Tiesler of Luverne; four grandchildren, Tannin Johannsen, Bonita Tiesler, Taylor Johannsen and Madison Johannsen; siblings, Daryle (Esther) Schuetts of Sioux Falls, South Dakota and David (Dianne) Schuetts of Des Moines, Iowa; and special friend, Kathy Siebenahler of Luverne. He was preceded in death by his wife, Bonnie Johannsen; parents, Clarence and Lillian Johannsen; and sisters, Beverly Schmuck and Ivalene Schuetts.