Richard James Johnson, 1944-2020

Richard James Johnson, 76, of Rolling Prairie, Ind. passed away Sunday July 5, 2020 at Cardinal Nursing and Rehabilitation, South Bend, Ind. after a long fight with Alzheimer’s disease.

He was born May 25, 1944 in Gary, Ind. to Clark and Ethel (Ewen) Johnson. In 1962 Richard married Ruth Vivian Johnson, who preceded him in death in 1986.  He married his second wife, Marcia in 1987 and, although they divorced, they remained special friends and traveling companions.

A resident of Rolling Prairie since 1972, Richard was a member of Bethany Lutheran Church, La Porte, serving on the church council for many years. He also served as a volunteer fire fighter in Rolling Prairie.  Richard loved farming. He was an original founder of the Indiana Dairy Producers, and he owned and operated Sunset Dairy, which won many awards for high milk production. Always seeking to learn the latest trends in his trade, he attended many farming and dairy conventions. Richard also had several hobbies, including boating, snow skiing and horses, and he adored his two rat terriers, Maggie and Leena.

In addition to his first wife, Richard was preceded in death by his parents and two sons, infant Kevin and Robert Johnson.

Survivors include sons, Brian (Claudia) Johnson of Bentonville, Ark. and Paul (Frelin) Johnson of Union Mills, Ind.; daughters, Laurie (Jeff) Wright of Edwardsburg, Mich. and Katie (Bart) Geise of La Porte, Ind.; brothers, Rodney (Ginny) Johnson of Hobart, Ind. and Tom (Shirley) Johnson of Belton, Mo.; sister, Marilyn (Bill) Pearson of Valparaiso, Ind.;  grandchildren, Brandon, Braden, Brad, Blake (Paige), Ben and Isaac Johnson, Jack Nehl, and Zeke and Zander Geise; second wife, Marcia; and several nieces and nephews.

Visitation will be from 5 to 8 p.m. Wednesday, July 8 at Haverstock Funeral Home and Cremation Services, 602 Maple Ave., La Porte, Ind., where a celebration of life service will be held at 10 a.m. Thursday with Pastor Dennis Meyer officiating.  Interment will follow at noon at Calvary Cemetery, Portage, Ind.

In order to protect family and friends, the family is asking attendees to comply with CDC guidelines and wear a mask or other face covering, practice six-foot distancing and wash hands frequently while attending the visitation and service.

Memorial contributions may be made to The Alzheimer’s Association Greater Indiana Chapter, Northwest Office, 8679 Connecticut St., Suite D, Merrillville, Ind. 46410 or to The Bethany Lutheran Church Foundation, 102 G St., La Porte, Ind. 46350.

Messages of condolence may be posted below on WNLP as well as at www.haverstockfuneralhome.com

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