Friday, June 14, 2024


Brian Emil Johnson passed away quietly in his sleep at home on December 8, 2022. He was born September 7, 1955 in Two Harbors, to Johnhenry and Hazel (Jackson) Johnson, and grew up in Brimson, where he attended Bassett Elementary School, then graduated from Two Harbors High School in 1974. Growing up in Brimson, the great outdoors was Brian’s playground. He learned to fish and hunt, which he enjoyed much of his life.

He also spent countless hours in the garage with his father working on engines, tractors, and cars. This experience led him on his career path. While in high school his favorite classes were the Industrial Arts classes, both woodworking and mechanical.

He built a gun cabinet and a cedar strip canoe. During a twoweek Christmas vacation, Brian and friends Ron Juenemann and Ricky Johnson, with some help from principal Gordon Klein built a one-room log cabin on Long Lake, where they hosted Christmas Eve dinner for family members.

During his senior year, the class built “The Joker”- a vehicle built from parts that were begged and borrowed, and services donated by various businesses. After high school, Brian moved to Babbitt, working as a mechanic’s apprentice for several years.

After the mine shut down, he moved to Colorado and was employed by Wilf’s European Motors, a company specializing in the restoration of old domestic and imported cars. While there, he participated in the “Great American Race”.

The three man team drove a 1937 Nash Lafayette 400 Coupe, which had been completely gutted and restored. The race began in Anaheim, and ended 2800 miles later in Indianapolis. He also worked as a heavy equipment operator on road construction in the Denver area. Returning to Minnesota in the mid 90’s, he was employed at North Shore Manufacturing until his retirement.

Brian had a heart of gold, believed the best in people, and did whatever he could to help others. He spent the last few years of his life at Bayview Terrace, where he was well liked by his neighbors, always had a joke to tell, and enjoyed making his neighbors feel good and putting a smile on their faces. One of his favorite ways to start a conversation was “remember when…” He will be “remembered when” for many years by his family and friends.

Brian was preceded in death by his parents, and Bobbie, the mother of his daughter. He is survived by his daughter, Emily Rose (Ben); a sister, Cindy; a brother, Steven (Katy); aunt, Sharon (John) Dickey; nieces and nephews, Jessica, Lindsey, John Michael, Stephanie, Brandon, and Haley.

A memorial service/celebration of life is planned for the Spring 2023 in the Brimson area. To share your memories or condolences online please visit www.cavallinfuneralhome.com.

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