Duane “Sunny” Johnson, 91, of Blair, passed away Sunday, November 6, 2022 at Grandview Care Center in Blair. Sunny was born December 21, 1930 to Swend and Minnie (Gunderson) Johnson. He attended the Sunnyside country school during his elementary years (which subsequently led to his nickname), and later graduated from Blair High School in 1948. He was united in marriage to the love of his life, Greta Olson, on June 4, 1955; and they were blessed to share 67 years together. To this union, one daughter, Debra Lynnette, was born in May 1956; she sadly passed away in 2021. Sunny was employed at the Preston Cooperative Creamery, later named AMPI, for 44 years as a Licensed Butter Maker and later advanced to Maintenance Superintendent; he retired in 1993. After retirement, he was a driver for Stetzer Electric. Sunny was drafted into the U.S. Army and served from 1951-1953; he performed basic training at Fort Riley, Kansas and then was deployed overseas to the island of Okinawa in support of the Korean conflict. Sunny was a past member of the Blair Preston Fire Department, Blair City Council, First Lutheran Church Council, and Resthaven Cemetery Board. He was also a 70-year member of the Knudtson-Mattison American Legion Post 231, and served as past commander. Sunny was honored by being chosen as the Blair Cheese Festival Parade Marshal in 2001, the Blair Cheese Festival Civic Award Winner in 2008, and received a Blair Preston Fire Department Service Award in 2020. Sunny was well-known for his tender heart, compassion, peaceful personality, and witty humor. He loved a variety of sports, and was an avid fan of the Green Bay Packers, Milwaukee Brewers, and Wisconsin Badgers. He enjoyed bowling, golf, gardening, traveling, and going on leisurely drives. Sunny is survived by his wife, Greta, of Blair, and sister, Janet Applequist, of Minneapolis, MN. He was preceded in death by his daughter Debra, parents, brothers James and Gary (“Svend”), brother-in-law Paul Applequist, sister-in-law Maxine Johnson, mother-in-law Marjorie (Olson) Arneson, father-in-law Orrin Olson, step father-in-law Sanford Arneson, and many nieces and nephews. A graveside service and burial with military rites will be held at Resthaven Cemetery in Blair on November 15 at 1:30pm, followed by a gathering and celebration of life at the Town of Preston Town Hall from 3-6pm. Kratz Funeral Home is assisting the family. Please direct memorials to the Knudtson-Mattison American Legion Post 231, Blair Preston Fire Department, Resthaven Cemetery, Blair Lutheran Church, Blair Cheese Festival, or charity of choice.
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