Robert Donald “Cubby” Johnson, long time resident of Burnsville, Minn., died peacefully at his home on Sept. 8, 2020.
He was born April 13, 1930 in International Falls, Minn. Cubby was baptized and confirmed in Zion Lutheran Church, International Falls, Minn. He graduated from Falls High School in 1948. In high school he enjoyed sports, theatre and choir. He loved to fish and hunt in the northwoods. Cubby earned an Eagle Scout rank in his youth. Immediately after graduation he enlisted in the U.S. Air Force and served from 1948-1953 and was called up to serve during the Korean War as a reservist.
Cubby met his wife, Glenda, when he donated blood at the International Falls Memorial Hospital. Glenda was the laboratory technician who drew his blood. Cubby asked Glenda “Who do I call if I have problems after my blood donation?” Glenda replied, “Call me.” He called Glenda later that day stating he was “having a reaction”. Glenda asked, “What kind of reaction”? Cubby replied, “A reaction of my heart!” On May 1, 1954 Cubby married Glenda Noreen (nee Hansen) of Loman, Minn., and together they raised four children.
In 1958, Cubby moved his family from International Falls, Minn., to Hoyt Lakes, Minn., to work in the iron ore mining industry. As the mining industry declined in the late 1950s the family established their home in Burnsville, MN in 1961. Cubby graduated from Dunwoody Institute and earned a Master Electrician license. He was a 32 year employee of the Ford Twin Cities Assembly Plant. In the early 1970s Cubby enjoyed teaching co-workers about the use of robotics within the Twin Cities Assembly Plant. After retiring Cubby was a member of the UAW Local 879 Retirees and served as the union’s Secretary. Cubby was also a member of American Legion Post 1776.
In retirement he enjoyed spending time at his northern Minnesota lake place fishing with his wife and grandchildren, researching his Norwegian ancestry on his computer and learning to speak Norwegian through classes at St Olaf College. Cubby looked forward to gatherings with his Falls High School alumni and his Ford UAW Retirees. He had a beloved cat, “Shadow” who kept his life on her schedule at all times.
He will be greatly missed and fondly remembered for his willingness to help others, his sense of humor and innate curiosity. Cubby knew what it meant to be of service to others throughout his life – that was the Eagle Scout in him. Cubby encouraged his children to value helping others as well. The poem “If” by Rudyard Kipling were words to live by for Cubby.
Cubby is survived by children Scott (Patty), Lorianne (Bob), Kristie (John), Barry (Cheryl), grandchildren Emily Johnson, Jennifer (Jeremy) Christiansen, Bryan (Michelle) Johnson, Rob (Cory) Zeglin, Brandon (Teresa) Johnson, Christopher Johnson and Samuel Johnson. Great grandchildren include Avery, Emmett, Quinn, Mikayla, Adaline, Brecken, Aria, Alleigh, Tate and Jack. Also survived by niece Christine Sorensen (David) Eschen of California and nephews Mark Johnson, Erik Johnson and niece Peggy Johnson Jiacoletti of California. He is also survived by his relatives in Norway and Denmark and many other relatives, friends and neighbors. Cubby was preceded in death by his wife, Glenda, parents Martin and Margaret (nee Holt), brother, Edward Johnson and his wife June Johnson, Sofus and Emma Hansen, sister-in-law Dr. Diane Sorensen, brother-in-law Caryl Hansen, son-in-law Chuck Gustafson, nephew Timothy Sorensen and great grandchild Jude Christiansen.
Special thank you to the LifeSprk Home Health Aides, Fairview Hospice and Dr. Emma Duncanson.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, a private family graveside service arranged by White Funeral Home will be held at the Lakeville Grove Cemetery. In lieu of flowers memorials preferred in Cubby’s name to St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital or the Minnesota Salvation Army. “Securve Cubby!”