The Daily Globe - Serving Gogebic, Iron and Ontonagon Counties

Roger S. Johnson


November 26, 2018

WAUSAU, Wis. – Roger S. Johnson, 77, of Mercer, passed away on Nov. 15, 2018 at Aspirus Hospital in Wausau.

He was born March 18, 1941, in Chicago, Ill.

Roger grew up in the Ironwood, Mich. area and was a 1959 graduate of Luther L. Wright High School.  He attended UW-Superior, earning a degree in art education. As a member of the Phi Sigma Epsilon Fraternity, he used his creative talents to create the first "Buzz" mascot for the university.

Roger married Beverly Kent on June 17, 1967, at Salem Lutheran Church in Barron. Bev was the love of his life, his partner, a source of strength and a true companion. They enjoyed many activities together, including going on picnics, attending plays and concerts, traveling with their trailer, entertaining family and friends, and especially cooking.

Roger was an art teacher spanning 32 years in the Madison Public Schools. He loved teaching and working with students. Throughout his career, Roger formed many close friendships with colleagues.

Roger was extremely proud of his son, Kirk, who followed in his footsteps to become a teacher. He taught Kirk how to bike, ski, fish, complete home repairs and landscape. They spent memorable times together canoeing, hiking, biking, skiing and camping.

Following retirement, Roger and Bev moved to Mercer, where they designed and built their dream log home on Pike Lake. They enjoyed pontoon rides, watching sunsets and taking traditional Finnish saunas. Roger liked to go fishing, cross-country skiing, grouse hunting and cheered on the Packers and Badgers.

Roger joined the Lions Club, making new friends, and was named "Lion of the Year" in 2004. Roger and Bev were active in community organizations. He designed and helped construct the Century Pines Pocket Park in downtown Mercer.

Roger and Bev annually hosted a large July 4th family gathering. Roger will be missed by family and friends who remember his generosity, kindness and willingness to lend a helping hand.

Roger was preceded in death by his father, Sexton Johnson; stepfather, John Czenker; mother, Signe Czenker; sister, Shirley Ray, and nephew, Cornell Ray.

Roger is survived by his wife, Beverly; son, Kirk; sister-in-law, Shirley (Dan) Gerland and numerous cousins, nieces and nephews.

Funeral services will be held at Salem Lutheran Church in Ironwood on Friday, Nov. 30, at 2:30 p.m., with visitation one hour prior to the service. A reception will follow at 4:30 p.m. in the Great Room at the Great Northern Motel, in Mercer.

Memorials will be used to commission a bench to honor Roger and purchase new picnic tables for the Pocket Park in downtown Mercer. Work will be guided by the Woods and Bloom Garden Club.

McKevitt-Patrick Funeral Home, Ironwood, is assisting the family.

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