Richard Johnson felt music in his bones, and enabled countless teenagers to feel it in their hearts.

From 1963 to 1983, Johnson led the band and orchestra programs at Roosevelt High School in Minneapolis, with a high point in 1974 of taking second place in an international music festival in Vienna, competing against bands from around the world.

“He was probably the best teacher we had in the entire time we were in high school,” said Deb Elliott-Pearson, now a doctor in Montana, who was on that trip. “He made us feel like we knew what we were doing, but that we could also improve. He was the kind of person who pushed you enough to think, ‘Yeah, I can.’ ”

Johnson, 92, of Minneapolis, died Feb. 2 after emergency hip surgery.

His daughter, Heidi Stokes of Minneapolis, said her father was a private man with guarded emotions when she was young, “but when he turned his talents toward conducting, that’s where I saw his soul, or his spirit. What he was able to pull out of a high school choir or band was incredible.”

Johnson grew up in Brandon, S.D., the sixth and youngest of a Lutheran pastor’s family. Music was a part of his life early on, and he was known for his beautiful baritone voice. Stokes once found a letter that Johnson’s father had sent to him while he served as a radioman aboard the Navy flagship USS Argonne in World War II.

“My grandfather told him to sing it out, to get through whatever the war presented through singing,” Stokes said. “For my dad, music became an almost spiritual place to be.”

Johnson graduated from Augustana College in Sioux Falls, S.D., with a double major in history and music, and was active in band, choir and orchestra. There, he met fellow music major Joyce Van Steenwyk; they were married for 65 years. He taught high school history and led bands in Rock Valley, Iowa; Luverne, Minn., and South High School in Minneapolis before arriving at Roosevelt.

While Johnson might have taught at the college level, his sense of community service rooted him at Roosevelt, said Stokes, who also was one of his high school students. “Kids would tell me, ‘Oh, I can’t believe your dad. I can talk to him about anything,’ and I was like, ‘What?’ ” she said with a laugh.

“He would get involved in troubled kids’ lives and you’d never know. When someone helps you achieve a potential you didn’t even know was there, you live with that forever.”

Ken Strand of Chanhassen was among those who traveled to Austria and now, as an elementary school teacher himself, marvels at how Johnson managed a group of lively teenagers. He remembers seeing East Berlin and going through Checkpoint Charlie, “which was an eye-opener for a 17-year-old kid,” and exactly the sort of history lesson that Johnson wanted to combine with the music.

Strand continues to play trombone, currently with the Minnesota Valley Community Band in Chaska. “The best friends I have today are people I’ve met through music, and I owe that to him,” said Strand, who also encourages his fifth-grade students to join the school band, “telling them how important it was to me.”

Elliot-Pearson kept in touch with Johnson, saying he became a friend “long past the time he was our teacher.” She also noted how many of his former students now are professional musicians, or in the music industry, or who simply have kept music in their lives.

Known in school as the Music Man, “he instilled a love of music that stuck with us for 40 years,” she said.

Johnson is survived by his wife, Joyce; children Kristi Johnson (Gene Rebeck), Duluth, and Heidi Stokes (Brad); a grandson, and many nieces and nephews.

Music-filled services have been held.

Tom Tomeo Ohno

Tom Tomeo Ohno, age 74 of Bloomington, passed away on October 11, 2002. He taught math and coached baseball at Roosevelt High School in Minneapolis for 26 years. He also taught at Lincoln Junior High and Cretin-Derham Hall. Tom had a passion for coaching kids and helping the community. He also spoke to students about his personal World War II internment experience. Preceded in death by parents, brother Joe, and sister Miyako (Ken) Yamaguchi. Survived by his wife, Reiko, daughter, Pamela (Tim) Dagoberg, and son, Robert (Pamela), grandsons, Erik and Jack Dagoberg, and Benjamin and Samuel Ohno, brothers, Fred (Emi), and Henry, sisters, Takiko Hazemoto, Marian Kikuchi, Amy (Paul) Shimada, Nobuko (John) Ikeda, Sakiye (Albert) Tsuchiya, and Sally Sudo, many nieces and nephews. A celebration of Tom's life will be held at 5:30 pm on Friday, October 18, 2002 at Transfiguration Lutheran Church, 110th Street & France Avenue South, Bloomington, MN. Private interment. Memorials are preferred to the Japanese American Citizens League - Twin Cities Chapter Scholarship Fund. WERNESS BROTHERS 952-884-8145

Muriel Ruth Weist

Wiest, Muriel Ruth Age 96, of Mpls, passed away Oct. 11, 2011 of dementia. Muriel was a long time teacher at Roosevelt High School in Mpls. Preceded in death by parents, Anna & John Wiest of Philadelphia, PA and eight siblings. Survived by her brother, Quentin Wiest of Ridgewood, NJ and numerous nieces & nephews. A memorial service will be held Saturday, August 4 at 2:00 PM in the Border Chapel at Hennepin United Methodist Church, 511 Groveland Ave., Mpls, MN 55403-3223 Phone 612-871-5303. Interment will be at Lakewood Cemetery in Mpls.

Published on August 1, 2012

John Clark Wells

John Clark Wells Born Mpls, MN, 8/13/1904, died Mpls, MN, 10/26/2002. Retired educator, coach, principal of Roosevelt High School for 17 years. Served on the Minnesota State Athletic Commission, was an active Shriner and 32nd Degree Mason. Avid hunter, fisherman, sportsman. Survived by granddaughter, Michelle Dickson of Vail, CO; brother, Perce Wells of Abington, PA; 7 nieces, 1 nephew; stepchildren, Roger and Doug Kirchner, and Beverly Fink; 9 step-grandchildren and good friend, Jim Winick. Preceded in death by wives, Grace Finch and Gladys Kirchner; daughter, Carolyn Siderakos and 3 brothers, Kenneth, Walter and Marshall. Memorial service Saturday, Nov. 9, Roosevelt High School Jack Wells Gymnasium at 11 am. Thank you to Evercare, MN, Redeemer Residence. Memorials to Roosevelt High School Foundation, 4029 28th Ave., Mpls, MN 55406.

Andrew James "Jim" Heller

Heller, Andrew James "Jim" Age 94 of Edina, MN, passed away peacefully at home on July 4, 2015. He was born on a farm in South Dakota in 1920. He attended college in Sacramento, CA earning an Associate of Arts degree. Returning to South Dakota in 1940, he attended Northern State University in Aberdeen, SD where he earned a teaching certificate. He enlisted in the Marine Corps in 1942 and was assigned to Gustavus Adolphus where he earned a B.S. degree. Following boot camp at Paris Island, SC he was transferred to Camp Lejeune, NC for advanced training and then to Quantico, VA for officer's training, and commissioned a 2nd Lt. After further training at Camp Pendleton, CA he was assigned to amphibious attack vessel APA-221 Oneida for 14 months, all spent in various landings in the South Pacific theater, including the invasion of Okinawa. He was discharged as a Captain in 1946. He had a deep love of music. Through both his college and post-war years, Jim was a performing musician in various touring dance bands. Beginning in 1946 he spent seven years as a principal and band teacher in McLaughlin, SD. Starting in 1953 he taught in the Minneapolis Public Schools for 34 years until his retirement. Most of those years were spent at Roosevelt H.S. teaching social studies and as a work coordinator. He also taught at Lincoln Jr. High, South and Henry high schools. He was actively involved in professional organizations. He was President of the Minneapolis Federation of Teachers, VP of the Minnesota Federation of Teachers and VP of the American Federation of Teachers - AFL/CIO. He was one of the leaders of the 1970 teachers' strike that led to the passage of the Public Employees Labor Relation Act of 1971 which provided collective bargaining rights for all public employees in Minnesota. From 1973 to 1988 he was an elected trustee of the Minneapolis Teachers Retirement Fund. After retirement he was President of the Minneapolis Retired Teachers Organization. Always interested in furthering his education, during his teaching years he spent summers studying at various institutions. He earned a Masters of Education at the University of Colorado. He also studied at the Universities of Minnesota, Wisconsin (Madison), Connecticut, Washington (St. Louis), Hawaii (on an East-West Center grant), Singapore (on a Fullbright Scholarship), and at the College of St. Catherine. Jim was preceded in death by his parents, Andrew and Ida; four sisters and one brother. He is survived by his wife of 47 years, Nancy; son, John Heller (Laura); stepchildren, Rick Dahlen (Holly), Ron Dahlen (Jamie) and Cynthia Rasmussen (Peter); 12 grandchildren and 13 great-grandchildren. A celebration of Jim's life will be held on Wednesday, July 15 at St. Edward's Catholic Church, 9401 Nesbitt Ave S., Bloomington, MN. Mass at 11:00 a.m. with visitation one hour prior. Memorials to Sharing & Caring Hands or charity of your choice. Cremation Society of MN

Hanson, Douglas A.

Hanson Douglas A., age 73, of Mpls. Mpls. Teacher & Counselor Roosevelt High School/Mpls. Public Schools 1953-1990. Trustee Mpls. Teacher's Retirement Fund 1987 to present. Preceded in death by parents, Arthur & Myrtle. Survived by wife, Joan; daughter, Barb (Eric) Pederson; son, Scott (Sherry) Hanson; grandchildren, Alex, Sam, Neal and Natalie; brother, Gary; and other relatives. Services Monday 10 am Minnehaha United Methodist Church, 3701 E. 50th St. Visitation Sunday 5-8 pm at Washburn-McReavy Nokomis Park Chapel, 1838 E. Minnehaha Pkwy. Masonic Service at 7:30 pm. Visitation also 1 hour prior at church. Interment Ft. Snelling Cemetery. Memorials preferred. Washburn-McReavy Peterson-Stohlberg 612-721-1651

Published on June 27, 2002

Edstrand, Betty Jean (Haversack)
Edstrand, Betty Jean (Haversack) Born June 26, 1920, passed away peacefully on March 29, 2007. Preceded in death by parents, William and Faye, and brother, Warren Haversack. Survived by beloved husband of almost 65 years, Edward; daughter, Carol (Rod) Amundson; and son, Ed (Diane); grandchildren, Katie (Randy) Barth, Marit Murray, (fiance Frank Fastner), Eric and Adam Edstrand; great-grandchildren, Tyler, Emily, Jessica, and Abbie Barth; sister-in- law, Dorthea (Kenneth) Johnson; nieces, June (Alan) Naman, Jane Johnson, Marypaul Foreman, Susan Johnson, Leslie Hubsmith; and nephew, Bob Johnson. Betty and Ed owned Morsel Bakery for many years. She also enjoyed her work as a secretary at Roosevelt High School for 22 years. Betty will be remembered as a warm and gracious lady with a wonderful sense of humor and who was an inspiration of caring and sharing to all who knew her. A service of remembrance will be held at 11 AM Friday April 6 at the Cremation Society of Minnesota, 7110 France Ave S, Edina (952-924-4100). Interment Fort Snelling National Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, memorials are preferred to Lakeview Hospice, 5610 Norwich Pkwy, Oak Park Heights, MN 55082.
Published on March 31, 2007

Maher, Virginia (Johnson)
Maher, Virginia (Johnson) age 90, of Mpls, died Monday, June 15, 2009. Virginia spent her life as a loyal and proud Minneapolis resident. Along with raising a family, Virginia was a clerk for the Mpls Public Schools, taking great pride in being the records clerk at her alma mater, Roosevelt High School. She was preceded in death by her husband, Bernard "Bernie" J. Maher; they held hands for 67 years of marriage. She was the hub of the family and gave unending, unquestioned, unconditional love and support to her loved ones. That, along with her easy, lilting laugh, will be greatly missed by her daughters, Lynne M. (Perry) Forster and Laurel M. Anderson; grandchildren, Sean (Molly Schirmer) Forster, Stacy (Colin Benedict) Forster, Jonas Anderson; great-grandchildren, Taylor Forster and Owen Benedict; sister, Arlene Pettersen; sisters- in-law, cousins, nieces and nephews. Memorials preferred to R.P. Research at Foundation Fighting Blindness Inc., PO Box 17279, Baltimore, MD 21203- 7279. Private interment. Visitation Saturday, June 20, 11 AM-1 PM at: Washburn-McReavy Nokomis Park Chapel 612-721-1651 1838 E. Minnehaha Pkwy, Mpls.
Published on June 16, 2009

Benita Ann (Kane) Kirschbaum

Kirschbaum, Benita Ann (Kane) age 82 of Bloomington, formerly of Dubuque, IA passed away September 21, 2015 at Wealshire of Blooming-ton. Preceded in death by parents, Eldon and Marcella Kane; brothers, Richard Kane (Ruth) and Walter Kane (JoAnn); and sister, Irene Breitbach (Donald). Survived by husband, Curtis J. Kirschbaum; sister, Carol Kane; and many nieces and nephews. She attended Clarke University in Dubuque, IA and the University of the Americas in Mexico City. Benita retired in 1989 from teaching Spanish at Washburn and Roosevelt High Schools in Mpls. She loved her family, students, and all animals. Reading, fishing, traveling, and gardening were favorite interests. She worked diligently for the SNAP Program in the Twin Cities after retirement. Special gratitude to the caregivers at Welcome Home Residential Care and Wealshire of Bloomington. In lieu of flowers, memorials preferred to SNAP (Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests) and Wealshire of Bloomington. Memorial service Tuesday, September 29, 11 AM with visitation beginning at 9 AM prior to service at: Werness Brothers 952-884-8145 2300 W. Old Shakopee Rd.

Published on September 26, 2015

Logacz, Walter S.

Logacz, Walter S. age 77, of Columbia Heights, passed away September 14, 2012. Born in Maniewieze, Poland, Walter was 15 when he immigrated to the United States. He graduated from Columbia Heights High School in May, 1953, served 4 years in the U.S. Air Force, graduated with a B.S. Degree from St Cloud State University and taught U.S. History and American Government at Roosevelt High School in Minneapolis for 35 years. Wally served on the Columbia Heights City Council for 12 years, was Anoka County DFL chairman, participated in local and metro boards, was an active member of the Lions Club, and played an integral part in Columbia Heights Lomianki Sister Cities International. A bigger than life figure, he was outgoing, people- loving, generous, curious, fun-loving, intelligent, warm- hearted and always a "philosopher." Wally is preceded in death by 2nd wife, Patricia, parents Stanislaw and Stephania, brother Michael, and niece, Michele. He is survived by brothers, Gregory (Sandra), John, and numerous extended family and friends, Memorials preferred to Columbia Heights Sister Cities. A celebration of Wally's life will be held at Murzyn Hall, 530 Mill Street N.E., Columbia Heights, MN on September 30, 2012 at 3:30p.m.

Published on September 15, 2012


Eakins, Lyle M.

Eakins, Lyle M. age 89, of St. Louis Park. Survived by loving wife of 59 years, Lilla; sons, Thomas (Megan), David and James (Brenda); grandchildren, Matthew, Jay, Christopher, Jonathon, Alexander and Samuel; great-granddaughters, Kiara and Shauntay; brother, Ray. Preceded in death by son, Steven and brothers, Vern and Marvin. Lyle was a WWII Veteran of the U.S. Navy. He graduated from the University of MN, receiving a degree in Chemical Engineering and received his master's degree from the University of St. Thomas. Lyle enjoyed many years teaching at Roosevelt High School and ended his professional career as an administrator at the University of MN. He was an avid bridge player, as well as a Minnesota sports fan. He loved his family, especially his grandchildren who captured his heart. Memorial service 11 AM Sat., July 3, Westminster Presbyterian Church, 12th & Marquette Ave S., Mpls. Private interment Lakewood Cemetery. Visitation 6:30-8:30 PM Fri., July 2 at: Washburn-McReavy Edina Chapel 952-920-3996 West 50th St. & Hwy 100

Published on June 30, 2010

Paus, Alice R.
Paus, Alice R. age 70, of Lakeville, formerly of South Mpls, passed away April 28, 2007. Alice taught at Roosevelt High School in Minneapolis for 30 years. Preceded in death by her parents, Oliver & Gertrude Holtan and brothers, Jerome & Richard Holtan. She is survived by her loving husband of 46 years, Glenn; sister, Louise (Ardean) Evenson; and many nieces & nephews. Funeral service 11 AM Wednesday at the White Funeral Home Chapel, 14560 Pennock Ave. with visitation 1 hour prior to service. Interment Eitzen, MN. White Funeral Home Apple Valley 952-432-2001
Published on April 29, 2007

Scarlett, Charlotte B.

Scarlett, Charlotte B. Much beloved, Charlotte died peacefully on December 23, 2008. Preceded in death by husband of 61 years, Theodore; son, Robert; brother, Robert Benson; and son-in-law, Charles Bottoms. Survived by son, Richard; daughter, Laura Bottoms of Owasso, OK; grandchildren, Karen and Theodore Bottoms; six nieces and a nephew; other relatives and many friends. Charlotte was born in Plentywood, Montana, to Laura and Walter Benson on October 4, 1918. After graduating from Montana State University in Bozeman, she worked in Washington, DC, for a national home economics association. She joined the WAVES (Ensign Benson!) and served from October 1942 to December 1944. She was stationed in San Francisco, where she worked in communications/coding. She met Ted in San Francisco, and they were married in New Orleans in September 1944. Char and Ted lived in Florida and Pennsylvania before moving to Minneapolis with their three children in 1950. Charlotte was active in the community and taught in the Minneapolis Public Schools, primarily at Roosevelt High School. She had an acute mind and wide- ranging interests. She valued education and learning and the arts. In retirement, Char and Ted enjoyed traveling, often participating in Elderhostel or Friendship Force programs with friends. Charlotte was a nurturing and supportive Mother, gracious hostess, and dear friend and colleague to many. She will be greatly missed; remember her warm and generous smile. Thanks to staff at Walker Elder Suites/Walker Methodist Health Center, Richfield Medical Group, MOHPA, and Hospice of the Twin Cities for their professional and loving care. Private interment at Lakewood Cemetery. There will be a memorial gathering on Friday, January 2, 2-4 p.m. at the Cremation Society of Minnesota-Edina, 7110 France Ave. S. Memorials preferred to AchieveMpls (in support of Minneapolis Public Schools), 111 3rd Av. S., Suite 5, Mpls., MN 55401 or the Library Foundation of Hennepin County, 12601 Ridgedale Dr., Minnetonka, MN 55435.

Published on December 27, 2008