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Gilford Roland Johnsson

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Gilford Roland Johnsson

Gilford Roland Johnsson was born September 15, 1933 in Mason City, IA to Gunnar and Anna (Pearson) Johnsson. He lived most of his life in Cloquet, MN where he graduated from high school. He attended and graduated from the University of Minnesota. Gil served a few years as a social worker in Duluth, then as a school teacher in Ashland, WI. He returned to the University of Minnesota to earn his degree in Library Science.

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Gil served libraries in Blue Earth County, Mankato, MN, and then Nobles County Library, in Worthington, MN where he met and later married Lillian Starkenburg on May 6, 1967. The couple served as Tour Leader for library tours to Europe, Canada, and the US and also one day tours to various theaters, the corn palace, and operas. They started the "Mama Is" program for women on Tuesdays at the library.

From Worthington he worked at the Marshfield, WI public library, the Fort Dodge Public Library, and finally the Cozard Library in Chamberlain, SD. After moving to South Dakota, he took up story telling as Mr. J in the nursing home and also traveling all over the state to schools. He was a member of four state library groups, many fine arts groups, community theatre and chorus groups, serving on the board of directors of the Guthrie Theatre, and was a current member of the Center for Western Studies. His main hobby was reading, mostly history, talking to anyone, music, and especially celebrating Halloween with the kids and costumes was what he enjoyed most.

Gilford passed away on Sunday, November 3, 2013 at Sanford Medical Center in Chamberlain at the age of 80 years. He is survived by his wife, Lillian (of 46 years); one sister Margit (Ray) Hong of Minnetonka, MN; one nephew Tom (Tina) Hong of Plymouth, MN; one niece Deb (Tom) Ferguson of Galesville, WI; grand nieces and nephews, as well as many friends. Preceding him in death were his parents Anna and Gunnar Johnsson, aunts, uncles, and other relatives in Sweden and the US.

Memorial services will be held on Friday, November 22, 2013, at 1:30 p.m., at the Benson Funeral Home in Worthington, MN. Burial will be in the Worthington Memorial Gardens Cemetery.

Visitation will be held on Thursday, November 21, 2013, from 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m., at the Benson Funeral Home in Worthington, MN.

Memorials may be sent to the The Center for Western Studies, 2001 S. Summit Ave, Sioux Falls, SD 57197.

Condolences may be sent to Lillian Johnsson 1209 S. Main Chamberlain, SD 57325.

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