Paul L. Johnson

paul johnson
Paul L. Johnson, age 89 of New Hampton, IA passed away on Wednesday, April 3, 2019 at St. Mary’s Hospital in Rochester, MN with his family by his side. Funeral services for Paul will be held at 11:00 AM on Monday, April 8, 2019 at Jerico Evangelical Lutheran Church with Pastor Peter Faugstad officiating. Burial will be held at a later date. Military rites are provided by the Alta Vista VFW Post # 4069. Visitation will be from 4:00-7:00 PM on Sunday, April 7, 2019 at Conway-Markham Funeral Home in New Hampton and will continue at the church one hour prior to the funeral service on Monday. Online condolences may be left at Memorials may be directed to Jerico Evangelical Lutheran Church. Paul Lowell, second son of Ole and Alice, was born July 30, 1929. He grew up on the family farm in Howard County, tending to the animals, working in the fields, and getting into only as much trouble as one would expect from a Norwegian farm boy. He left home for two years (1952-54) when he served in the Army during the Korean conflict, receiving an honorable discharge at the rank of sergeant. In 1961, after thinking it over for some time, he married Eileen Gaffney of New Hampton on November 14th. Together they began two decades of working together to run the family farm. Their daughters Jane and Karen blessed their marriage. The rhythm of their lives followed the seasons, some years were plentiful and others were lean, but they managed to keep the family and farm running smoothly. In 1980, Ole’s death and the high prices of farmland put an end to Paul and Eileen’s days on the farm. The family moved to New Hampton in 1981, changing the rhythm of their family to shifts, paychecks, and keeping up with their every busy daughters. It wasn’t always easy and they often missed the farm, but Norwegians seldom despair. Paul found steady, if not stimulating, work at Sara Lee in New Hampton. Paul and the girls lost Eileen to a brave battle with cancer in 1993. Anyone who questions the value of living in the same place for your whole life should know that the outpouring of support from family, friends and neighbors helped the family through their grief and helped Paul find a new rhythm to his life. He found friends to visit, volunteer work to do, social events to attend, and neighbors in need to help. Soon Jane and Karen purchased an answering machine for Paul because he was so rarely at home to pick up the phone when they called. The arrival of his grandchildren gave Paul a legitimate excuse to fill his home with toys and keep chocolate in every room. He also found a true friend and soul mate in Mary Jean Martin, who’s shared his joy for socializing and genuine desire to help those in need. When the girls and their families traveled home for a visit, the kids would have a wonderful time with Grandpa and get into only as much trouble as one would expect from the descendants of that Norwegian farm boy…who was always a kid at heart. Paul was a member of Jerico Evangelical Lutheran Church, and Alta Vista VFW Paul Johann Post #4069. He will be deeply missed by his daughters, Jane (Rob) Jacobs of Brooklyn Park, MN and Karen (Richard) McLeer of Cobb, WI; his grandchildren, Adam, William and Samantha; his soul mate, Mary Jean Martin of New Hampton; his sister, LaVonne Edeker of Allison, IA; sister-in-law, Bernice Johnson of New Hampton, IA and several nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his parents, his wife, Eileen; his brother, Cal (Leona) Johnson; and his sister, Adis (Joe) Covell; brother-in-law, Roy Edeker.

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Memories Timeline


  1. My sympathy to all of Paul’s family Paul was a special friend to my friend Maryjean and he became my friend. May God be with you and may God’s promise of eternal life be a comfort to you in the loss of one so dear.

  2. Rest in Peace Paul. My sympathy to Maryjean and all of Paul’s family. Always enjoyed the past conversation with Paul and enjoyed many of road trips with him in years past delivering and picking up cars, when he drove for Vern Laures.

  3. Our deepest condolences to Paul’s family and Mary Jane, we remember Paul from Bolz the Jerico Church and working with him at Sara Lee Bakery.. He was a very kind and considerate man who will be missed by all who knew him. Having gained an earthly angel.

  4. All the Schnurr family loved Paul. He was a WONDERFUL man. We enjoyed visiting with Paul and Mary Jean when they would come to our Mom’s house in Lawler. Paul was very supportive of our family when our father was ill and in the New Hampton nursing home. He brightened a difficult time with his support and kind words. The world will miss him, but heaven gained a terrific man. Our sympathy to Mary Jean and all of Paul’s family.

  5. My condolences to Paul’s family. While I had not visited with him in recent years, I will always remember him as a soft-spoken gentleman who would get a twinkle in his eye when he and Dad shared a special time they had had together. He shall be missed.

  6. My heart goes out to Jane, Karen, and their families. Paul was a wonderful man, and did so much for his friends and neighbors in and around New Hampton. I will definitely miss visiting with him, as will my dad.
    It always brought a smile to my face to see the two of them interact with each other. They were close friends and had many adventures together.

  7. Our thoughts and sympathy are extended to the Family and to Mary Jean. Paul was always so friendly and had a wonderful smile. He will be missed by all those who knew him. He enjoyed life to the fullest.

  8. Paul was a great neighbor and great friend to my family. He will now rest in peace with Mom and Dad.

  9. Paul was a very special man and we were neighbors in New Hampton for many years. My sympathy!

  10. Paul will be missed by many as he was a exceptional person. We worked with him at Sara Lee and we were blessed when he came bearing fudge to the bank . It was the best!! Heaven has gained a good soul.

  11. So sorry to hear of Paul’s passing. He was a fine gentleman…and “gentleman” was an accurate description. He met all with a warm smile and a friendly greeting. We always enjoyed his fudge during the holidays. Our thoughts are with the Family and Mary Jean. Harvey and Pam Schmitt

  12. We will never forget the work and fun that Paul and Roger Johnson had when doing projects around the Carnegie. First class guy, altruistic heart. Our condolences to his daughters.

  13. Jane and Karen – I am so sorry to read of your Dad’s passing. Treasure your memories and please accept my deepest sympathy. Ann Grober

  14. Our deepest sympathy goes out to the family. Paul was a very kind and pleasant person and will be missed by many. Glen & Jo Nosbisch

  15. So sorry to hear of Paul’s passing. I remember Paul as such a wonderful and caring neighbor of my grandparents. He was always there to lend a helping hand and always had a fresh batch of chocolate or fudge as a treat when I visited. He will be greatly missed. My condolences to the family and Mary Jean. Chuck and Kim Mashek Family

  16. Paul was a great neighbor to my parents, Ray and Romana Lentz. He often brought cookies and helped move furniture, etc. He also was a big help at Mom’s auction; always volunteering to help.
    Kathy And Roger Rasing

  17. To all of Paul’s family and Mary Jean….I was truly saddened by the news of Paul’s passing. He was a wonderful friend to my parents (Harold and Jeanette Galligan), who I know will miss him greatly. Paul was a kind man who always had a smile on his face, was a FABULOUS baker, and always had time to do a good deed for someone in need. We will continue to keep your family, and especially Mary Jean, in our thoughts and prayers. Our deepest sympathy, Gary, Carrie, Erin & Claire Rankin

  18. We were blessed to be the lucky recepients of Paul’s famous fudge at our Iowa visits to Mom and Dad’s (Bill and Jo Hurd). Paul made sure Mom had some for us more on more than one of our special occasions. What a pleasant smile he always had. Keeping you in our thoughts and prayers. Barb & Charlie Watson, Tennessee

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