James Johnson Obituary, Death Cause – James “Jim” Johnson was given the name James when he was born on March 21, 1949 in Perham, Minnesota. His parents were Erwin E. and Mayme J. (Strand) Johnson. Jim’s mother was one of the teachers he had while he was in primary school in Corliss, and according to Jim, she was the one who held him more accountable than the other pupils. After completing his high school education at Perham High School, he continued his studies at Fergus Falls Community College and Moorhead State University, where he earned a Bachelor of Arts degree with a major in biology and a minor in chemistry.
Following graduation, Jim reassured Bonnie Pederson that he was a “goose,” which means that he is faithful to his partner throughout their lives, and that if she would marry him, they would spend the rest of their lives together. Christopher, Matthew, and Jessica were the three children that Jim and Bonnie were blessed with after they were married. Jim, who possessed a diverse set of skills, embarked on a number of different professional and career tracks.
Early in his career, he held a position at Otter Tail County Shoreland/Land and Resource Management. Jim was in charge of directing the cellular telephone sales and team at Arvig, in addition to opening and managing the Radio Shack location in Perham. Under the “umbrella” of Arvig Enterprises, Jim served in a number of different capacities. In 1998, Jim purchased the cabinet business, which is now known as Johnson Wood Products, from Brad Schmidt. Jim wanted to pursue a passion for woodworking, so he ran the cabinet business with the help of his son Chris for the remainder of his life.
Jim was very involved in the community and spent numerous times on the Perham City Council, as well as other committees and as Mayor of Perham. He enjoyed being a part of the local government. He was a member of the Red Cross Disaster Response Team, a Stephen Minister at Calvary Lutheran, and a council member at Calvary Lutheran. Additionally, he was active in the Perham Sportsman Club, Delta Waterfowl, and the Perham Rotary. Jim’s biggest “volunteerism” pleasure was sharing his passion for fishing and hunting with other people by teaching them new skills and passing on his knowledge. He would frequently say things like, “I was never an athlete, but I do know how to catch fish.”