Irving “Irv” H. Johnson, Jr., 92, of Green Bay, passed away peacefully on Friday, March 18, 2022 at St. Vincent Hospital.
Irv was born Irving Hubert Johnson Jr. to Irving and Christena Johnson on March 16, 1930 in Burnside Township, Minnesota. The family moved to a farm in Ellsworth, WI shortly thereafter. During his high school years he moved to Waterloo, IA to find work and ended up hauling milk for a local dairy. Irv then went on to join the Navy where he served 4 years and came out as a Sonarman, 2nd Class, and served on the USS Walter B. Cobb, a light destroyer used in amphibious operations. He attended sonar school in Key West, Florida and went on to cross the Atlantic 4 times. He spent time in Naples, Italy, Northern Europe, Rio de Janeiro and Cuba. Upon completing his 4 year Navy tour, he attended the University of Wisconsin Madison under the GI bill. He graduated with a degree in Dairy Industry in 4 years. His academic achievement earned him the Borden Scholar in Dairy Industry. Irv was a member of the Delta Sigma Pi fraternity. Upon college graduation he worked for Bordens in Fond Du Lac, Wisconsin.
It was after a Badger football game that he met Helen Denzin. They fell in love and were married on February 6th, 1960. They moved to Milwaukee, WI where he went to work in sales at the US Chamber of Commerce. They had two sons, David was born in 1961. Mike followed in 1963. Irv continued on his sales career at Mutual of Omaha and then to General Life Insurance Company, which prompted a move to Green Bay, WI. During his sales career, he achieved numerous achievement awards from several financial firms. Irv and Helen enjoyed the outdoors immensely. This led them to building a cottage on Lake Hilbert in northern Wisconsin which they filled with memories over the last 52 years. Weekends at the cottage were filled with swimming, waterskiing, skiing, fishing, snowmobiling and sailing. One of Irv’s more notable projects was to re-purpose an old pioneer log cabin he found in a local cow pasture. Dismantling it log by log and reassembling it close to the lake where it serves today as a Swedish sauna and storage for summer sports. He loved wood working and made everything from fine stools and tables with birds-eye maple to birdhouses. He was an avid reader and student of American history and how our country was pioneered. His passion for history lead him to involvement in fundraising towards construction of the new Neville Museum in Green Bay. His passion for fishing led to over 100 trips to Canada with friends and family. These adventures sometimes involved portages, airplanes and trains to accomplish. He also cherished his years and friendships with members of Martha’s Coffee Club in Green Bay. Irv retired at the age of 59 which allowed them to have travel the world extensively, having enjoyed many cruises.
Irv was very proud of his son’s accomplishments. Mike following in his financial footsteps and taking over his business and David becoming a Director with ABC Supply Co., Beloit, Wisconsin.
Irv immensely enjoyed family times with his grand-children and great grand-daughter. He was excited and always ready to get caught up with what they were up too in their lives and careers.
Irv is survived by his wife Helen of 62 years; sons, David (Denise) and Michael (Ann), Grandchildren, Peter (Rachel), Ian, Katherine and Evan (Shanese) and Great Granddaughter, Harlow. Irv was further survived by other loving relatives and friends. He was preceded in death by his parents, Irving and Christena; brothers Bud and Chester; sisters, Ruth Matula, and Vera Pautch.
Irv’s life will be celebrated at the Lyndahl Funeral Home, 1350 Lombardi Ave., Green Bay, WI on Saturday March 26th with visitation starting at 10:00 am until the memorial service at 12:00 pm with Pastor Joshua Fite officiating.
Online condolences may be expressed at www.Lyndahl.com. In lieu of flowers and other expressions of sympathy, the family requests that you make a donation to the Old Glory Honor Flight Association or the charity of your choice in honor of Irv.
The family would like to extend their sincere gratitude and appreciation to the staff at both Emerald Bay Assisted Living Facility and St Vincent’s Hospital.
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