Serving Gogebic, Iron and Ontonagon Counties

Russell Leo Johnson

BESSEMER, Mich. - Russell Leo Johnson, 79, passed away on Friday, Jan. 12, 2024. Contrary to popular bets, Russ passed away in his home, not in a wintery yard sale on the slopes nor tangled up in his bike in the woods.

Russ first hit the bunny hill Jan. 15, 1944, in Rosemount, Minnesota. With great faith in his helmet and the Lord, brakes left by the wayside; Russ's love of adventure, excitement, and a fair amount of risk-taking has inspired family and friends to follow in the trails he has blazed. When not teaching young'uns how to navigate the ski slopes, retrieving belongings from the apply named Pickleball "Russ Bucket" or repeatedly challenging the same tree to a game of chicken on his prized mountain bike, Russ could be found being the life of the party. Quick with a joke and not afraid to tease, Russ came for the fun and always brought plenty to share.

Join us in celebrating Russ's life at the American Legion in Bessemer, on Friday, Jan. 19, at 4 p.m. Services will be held at Trinity Lutheran Church in Ironwood, on Saturday, Jan. 20, with visitation from 10 to 11 a.m. and service at 11 a.m.

Preceding Russ over the handlebars was his wife, Margie; his parents, George and Louise (Doehling); and his son-in-law, Steve.

Continuing the many trails Russ has traveled are his three daughters, Kim (Ray), Melissa (Dino) and Shar (Bob); his son, Jeremy (Soile); stepchildren, Krista Lee, Sarah (Mike) Bowen and Mike Boufford; and 11 grandchildren, Ben, Joe, Gabe, Gavin, Eli, Emilia, Elsa, Taylor, A.J., Carter and Madeline.

The family has chosen McKevitt-Patrick Funeral Home in Ironwood, and friends may leave condolences and tributes to Russell's family online at

Burial will be at Pine Bend Cemetery in Rosemount, Minnesota, in the spring.