James John “Jimmy Jo” Johannsen, 78, Luverne, died Wednesday, Sept. 22, 2021, at the Good Samaritan Society – Mary Jane Brown Home in Luverne.
A funeral service was Monday, Sept. 27, at First Presbyterian Church in Luverne. Burial followed in Maplewood Cemetery in Luverne.
James “Jimmy Jo” Johannsen was born on May 2, 1943, to Clarence and Lillian (Remme) Johannsen in Luverne. He was baptized and received his confirmation at Zion Lutheran Church in Hardwick. Jim attended school in Hardwick through the eighth grade and then Luverne High School, graduating in 1961. He continued his education at Worthington Technical School in Worthington, where he played college football for a year until a knee injury forced him out of the game.
Jim bought his first truck in 1962 and started his own trucking business. In 1964 he was hired as a deputy with the local law enforcement, a position he held until 1977.
On Oct. 3, 1965, Jim was united in marriage to Bonita Smith at the First Presbyterian Church in Luverne. In 1998 he began delivering fire trucks full time for Luverne Truck. Bonnie preceded him in death on Jan. 9, 2003, following a battle with breast cancer. Jim continued to reside at their home on Elm Street. Jim suffered a stroke in 2012 and was forced to retire. In 2017 he moved into the Good Samaritan Society – Mary Jane Brown Home in Luverne.
Jim joined the Luverne Fire Department in 1973, and from 1981 to 1997 he served as the fire chief. He was an active member of the Minnesota Fire Chief Association. In 1996 he was named the “Friend of Education.”
Jim loved fishing, hunting, and trapping his entire life. He also liked to travel, drink coffee with the guys, brew his own beer and cook. He will be remembered for striking up a conversation with anyone who crossed his path.
Jim is survived by his two children, Mark (Karrie) Johannsen of Parker, Colorado, and Crystal (Cory) Tiesler of Luverne; four grandchildren, Tannin Johannsen, Bonita Tiesler, Taylor Johannsen and Madison Johannsen; siblings Daryle (Esther) Schuetts of Sioux Falls, South Dakota, and David (Dianne) Schuetts of Des Moines, Iowa; and special friend Kathy Siebenahler of Luverne.
He was preceded in death by his wife, Bonnie Johannsen; his parents; and sisters Beverly Schmuck and Ivalene Schuetts.
Arrangements were provided by Hartquist Funeral Home of Luverne, hartquistfuneral.com.