At 99 1/2 years old, Lloyd Johnson dressed in his military uniform for Harris American Legion Post 139 services on Memorial Day.
Johnson has been a member of the Legion since returning home from Europe at the end of World War II. A captain in the U.S. Army, he recalls entering Germany with his field artillery unit in December 1944. He was honorably discharged in January 1946.
From about 1965-75, Johnson was commander of the firing squad for the Harris Legion, while his wife, Maxine, served as Legion Auxiliary president from the Auxiliary’s beginning in 1949 until 1977. The couple then moved to Florida and returned to Minnesota in 2003. They currently reside in Woodbury.
Lloyd Johnson also was a school teacher from 1936-37 at the Willow Grove School — a country schoolhouse that was once housed in the Harris American Legion building, which was built in the 1870s, he said. It was the same school that first educated him as a young farm boy. Maxine Johnson was born and raised in Harris, as well.
A reunion between teacher and student took place during this year’s Memorial Day services: Lloyd Johnson and his former first-grade student Clifford Ramberg, a fellow veteran who was mainly stationed in Texas during the Korean War. He served January 1952 to January 1954.
When asked if Ramberg was a good student, Lloyd Johnson smiled and said, “He was the best first-grader I had that year. Of course, he was the only first-grader I had that year.”
In addition, Lloyd Johnson was one of the first members of the school board in District 138, which is currently identified as North Branch Area Public Schools. His service as board clerk lasted more than 20 years.
“I’m the sole surviving member of the original school board, and for quite a few years,” he said.
Lloyd Johnson will be celebrating his 100th birthday in December.