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Merle Carl Johnson Oct. 10, 1933 - June 5, 2018

June 17, 2018
Estherville News

A Celebration of Life service will be held for Merle Carl Johnson, age 84, formerly of Estherville, on Saturday, July 28, 2018, at 11:00 a.m. at Macalester Plymouth United Church, 1658 Lincoln Ave., St. Paul, MN 55105.

Merle made his transition on Tuesday, June 5, 2018, at New Perspective Assisted Living in St. Paul, MN where he resided for the past two years.

He was born Oct. 10, 1933, in Estherville, Iowa. Merle's parents were Ernest C. and Ethel B. (Minor) Johnson.

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A graduate of Estherville High School, Merle received his bachelor's degree from Buena Vista College, Storm Lake. After college he served as a volunteer at the Presbyterian Mission Hospital on the Navajo Reservation in AZ. He moved to San Diego where he met and married Carol Johnson-Miller of Davenport, Iowa. When they started their family, they chose to move back to Estherville. He owned and operated the H&R Block Income Tax office, serving the Estherville area for 47 years, as well as The Place (a pinball machine and pool hall) on Central Avenue briefly in the early 1970's, and the gift shop The Novelty Nook, which later became the Gift Gallery.

Merle is survived by his wife of 59 years, Carol, who now resides in St. Paul; two children, Martha Johnson (Tim Ramer) of St. Paul and Timothy Johnson of San Pedro, CA; five grandchildren, Hannah, Nalini, Jeffrey, Rebecca and Naomi; his brother, Donald E. Johnson and Don's family; numerous nieces, nephews, cousins, other relatives and friends; and his dog Jack. He is also survived by the great caring staff at New Perspective; and a special thanks to his beloved personal caregivers, Krista Peterson and her family, and Jessa Love. Merle was preceded in death by his parents.

Merle was a long-time member of the First Presbyterian Church, Estherville, and most recently he was a member of Mac Plymouth United, St. Paul. He appreciated all kinds of music, liked watching professional sports, loved fishing and reading, and enjoyed life's humorous moments. Recently, Merle was well known for taking his beloved dog Jack for walks all over town several times a day. His life's motto was: "Be kind to yourself and to others." After his death, Merle donated his brain to the Wisconsin Brain Donor Program of the University of Wisconsin-Madison for research.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests that gifts in Merle's memory be made to the University of Wisconsin Initiative to End Alzheimer's / Wisconsin Alzheimer's Disease Research Center by visiting or to the donor's favorite charity.



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