Russell Nelson Johnson

REED CITY – Russell Nelson Johnson, age 99, of Reed City, passed away on Saturday, April 9, 2011, in Cadillac.

He was born on Oct. 12, 1911, in Reed City, to Charles Johnson and Matilda Nelson, and was a 1931 graduate of Reed City High School. He attended Michigan Agricultural College (MSU) and graduated in 1938 with a Bachelor of Science degree in agriculture. On Oct. 14, 1939 he was married to Helen Andresen, who passed away in 2009.

He was employed with the Michigan State University Extension Office from 1938 to 1942, when he became employed with the Farmers Home Administration office of the USDA. Russell worked in the West Branch office from 1942 to 1964 and then became a district manager for the Upper Peninsula and Northern Lower Peninsula until his retirement in 1974. He was a member of the West Branch A.F. & A.M. lodge #376 and a 30-year member of St. Paul Lutheran Church of Reed City.

Russell loved his wife and family and together lived on their centennial farm west of Reed City. He enjoyed deer hunting trips to the U.P. with friends, gardening and attending yard sales, traveling internationally with his wife, was a genealogy enthusiast, and he composed poetry and hymns.

He is survived by his daughter, Evlyne Sheltrown of Reed City; sons, Glenn (Cheryl) Johnson of Tucson, Ariz., and Charles (Mary) Johnson of Fredericksburg, Va.; grandchildren, Scott (Mary) Sheltrown of Farmington Hills, Krystn (Steve) Cedzidlo of Denville, N.J., Kelly (Steve) Waters of Richmond, Va., Kevin (Melissa) Johnson of Springfield, Va., Jeffrey (Neely) Johnson of West Branch and Brett (Lorraine) Johnson of Tucson, Ariz.; and nine great-grandchildren.

He was preceded in death by his wife, Helen Johnson; infant daughter, Thelma Johnson; parents, Charles and Matilda Johnson; brother, Byron Johnson; and sisters, Esther Nagel, Marvel Rheams, Evlyne Johnson and Helen Baldwin.

Funeral services will be held 11 a.m. on Friday, April 15, 2011, at the St. Paul Lutheran Church in Reed City, with Rev. Dawn Pooley officiating. Burial will be at Woodland Cemetery, Reed City. Memorial contributions in Russell’s name may be made to St. Paul Lutheran Church and envelopes are available at the Pruitt-Livingston Funeral Home in Reed City, where friends may call from 6 to 8 p.m. on Thursday, April 14, 2011.

An online obituary may be viewed and condolences offered at www.pruittlivingston.com.