Cover photo for William "Bill" Claus Johannsen's Obituary
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William "Bill" Claus Johannsen

January 4, 1932 — April 7, 2024

Pipestone, Minnesota

William "Bill" Claus Johannsen

William Claus Johannsen "Bill" was born to Bill and Helen (Wikner) Johannsen on January 4, 1932, in Sweet Township, in Pipestone County, on the Johannsen family century farm. He rode his horse to country school through 8th grade and then attended Pipestone High School till enlisting in the Navy at 17 years of age. After the service, he returned to the farm. He married Patricia Cook on January 4, 1953. The couple made their first home in Verdi, MN. Though the couple relocated to many homes in Pipestone; one was their favorite ~ the Campbell home. The house was moved from downtown to 5th Street SW and was known as the "Castle" and that is where Bill spent many summer nights and weekends painting and roofing the three-story house; by himself. There was no grass in the backyard as Bill would be the catcher if anyone wanted to play a game of whiffle ball. When not having enough neighborhood kids to play whiffle ball, Bill would sit on a five-gallon white bucket, with glove in hand till all his children had pitched hundreds of balls; with the understanding if they didn't hit the glove, they had to run after it ~ if the dogs didn't get it first.
After retirement from REA, where he advanced to foreman lineman in his 45 years, he and his wife moved to the Johannsen family farm. Bill and Pat loved the turkeys, birds, and any other animals that found their way to the farm. Bill loved animals from the beginning, always having at least one dog and usually two or three. He was known to bring home any animal he encountered that looked like it had nowhere to go thus the Johannsen family had pet lizards, snakes, mice, cats, dogs, an alligator, llama's, pet sheep, pet cows, horses, donkeys, turtles, foxes, a few skunks, and even crows that needed to heal their broken wings.
Even though Bill was an animal lover, he loved to fish and hunt. He'd have his four kids walking the fields for pheasant or fox. Bill & Pat were often found out on the lake from sunup to sundown waiting for the "catch" of the day. He and his brother made many a deer-hunting trip up north to "fill the freezer" for the year.
Bill was a huge Minnesota Sports fan and loved watching the Vikings, Timberwolves and the Twins with his wife, children and grandchildren. Only LeBron James would get him to switch his loyalty. All his children played sports and Pat & Bill rarely missed the opportunity to coach or watch them. But his greatest joy was watching his grandchildren and all their successes in playing in State Tournaments, College World Series, at State Swim Meets or participating in All-State Orchestras. He was always bragging up his children and grandchildren. He loved to beat them on the golf course or by getting the biggest fish. And then he would laugh and muss their hair.
Bill could play cards for hours. And he could beat any of his family till the end of his life. The goal of the entire family was to not let Dad win. Even though we would try and outbid him in whatever game we were playing, he could pull the tricks and set us. Then he would teach us how we could make something out of what we thought was nothing. 
Bill loved to plant his garden and "work" in the garage. He took some woodworking classes and constructed a grandfather clock that was his pride and joy. You would go to the farm and there was always a new project looming. These projects were usually put together with rejects and then would have an extra board to hold it up or be tied to a tree or fencepost so it would not topple over. 
In July of 2018, Bill lost a part of his heart when Pat passed away. 

When the world shut down due to the Pandemic, Bill's life started to shut down also. His family believes he aged as he did not have his coffee days with the guys, did not eat well and probably was lonely but would not admit it. By the time the world was waking up again, Bill's children thought it was time that Bill lived with people instead of just dogs and cats. Bill's balance began to wane. His children were always concerned when they could not reach him and were wondering where he might have fallen ~ outside in the garden, down by the mailbox, into the lake while fishing or on a gravel road where he was checking the crops. 
In January of 2022, Bill, and his dog Bingo, moved into the Dow Rummel Assisted Living Community. There he enjoyed playing cards, bingo and even participating in arts & crafts. He was the only man in one exercise class and hardly missed a day. Billy, his son, spent many a Sunday watching the Vikings with him. His grandson and wife would bring their big dogs to visit, and Bill's smile would be from ear to ear as the dogs kissed him all over.
Bill passed away, of natural causes, at Dow Rummel on Sunday, April 7, 2024. Bingo went home with a nurse.
Bill will be lovingly remembered by his children, Nikki (Jon) Edwards of Edina, Minnesota, Bill (Kristi) of Hartford, South Dakota, Skot Johannsen of Minneapolis, Minnesota. and Todd (Wanda) of Hot Springs, Arkansas; six grandchildren, Mikel Edwards, Kris (Sarah) Edwards, Andrew (Rachel) Johannsen, Matthew (Jordyn) Johannsen, Ben (Savannah) Johannsen, and Abby Johannsen; two great-grandchildren; Aaron William Johannsen and Jonathan Edwards; one sister-in-law "Muggs" Bunn, and several nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his wife Pat, his parents, infant son, siblings Roger Johannsen, Dorothy Bork, Jeanette Young, and two infant sisters Nyla and Joan.

Arrangements have been entrusted to the Hartquist Funeral Home - Pipestone Chapel.

To send flowers to the family in memory of William "Bill" Claus Johannsen, please visit our flower store.
Bill Johannsen Funeral Folder.pdf
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Past Services

Celebration of Life

Monday, April 15, 2024

12:00 - 2:00 pm (Central time)

Hartquist Funeral Home - Pipestone Chapel

320 2nd Ave SW, Pipestone, MN 56164

Memory sharing will begin at 12:30 PM.

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Interment

Monday, April 15, 2024

2:30 - 3:00 pm (Central time)

New Woodlawn Cemetery - Pipestone

654 116th St., Pipestone, MN 56164

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