Ken Johannson, 88, Rochester MN and Naples FL, peacefully departed life on November 27, 2018. He was born October 6, 1930 in Edmonton, Alberta Canada. He attended the University of North Dakota. He was a two-sport, Hall of Fame athlete in football and hockey - proudly wearing the North Dakota Fighting Sioux sweater. After playing professional hockey in England and Switzerland, Ken moved to Milwaukee, WI to work for P&G – selling Crest toothpaste. Ken met his soulmate Marietta Sands, on a blind date. They married in 1958 and shared 52 years of wonderful life. Ken and Marietta raised three children - Judy, John and Jim.
Hockey brought Ken to Rochester, Minnesota in 1959, but the Mayo Clinic kept him there. Ken worked as an Administrator at Mayo Clinic for 34 years – an institution which he always held in great esteem. He became a naturalized US citizen in 1961 and proudly played for the US National Hockey team in the 1962 and 1966 World Championships. Ken felt very strongly about giving back to your community – his avenue and expertise was hockey. He founded the Rochester Youth Hockey Foundation amongst the endless hours of coaching, teaching and running hockey camps. Ken had found his passion to share with youth of all ages.
Ken acted as the first National Coaching Director for USA Hockey in the 1970’s and authored the First USA Hockey Coaching Manual. He later served in management positions for USA Hockey, including General Manager of the 1979 World Championship team (Moscow, Russia). He was also the original General Manager of the 1980 US Olympic team, prior to the Olympic Games.
Ken enjoyed life to the fullest and he had a penchant for bringing out the best in people and making sure everyone had a great time. Becoming a “snow bird” to Naples, FL in 1992, he was able to elevate his tennis game and his circle of friends increased exponentially.
Ken is survived by Judy (Judd) Stevenson – Neenah, WI, John (Margarita) Johannson-Minneapolis, MN and Abigail Tompkins Johannson – Colorado Springs, CO. The next generation includes seven grandchildren, Tyler Stevenson-Milwaukee, WI, Taylor Stevenson-Minneapolis, MN, Johnny, Matias, Anna and Daniela Johannson-Minneapolis, MN, and Eleanor Johannson-Colorado Springs, CO. He has numerous loving nieces and nephews. 2018 has been a cruel year for our family – we lost our youngest brother, Jim Johannson, suddenly in January. Ken was also very close to his sister, Margaret Williams from Wales, England. Although separated by the ocean, they both passed away on the same day within hours of each other. They were the last surviving members of their immediate family.
It was Ken’s wish to have a celebration of his life. A visitation and celebration will be held at Christ United Methodist Church, 400 5th Avenue SW, Rochester, MN on Wednesday, December 5th with the visitation starting at 12:00 p.m. and the memorial service commencing at 2:00 p.m. A reception and opportunity to share stories will follow the service. Officiating will be Pastor Elizabeth Macaulay.
In lieu of flowers, the family recommends a donation to the Jim Johannson Legacy fund at USA Hockey. The direct link to donate is www.usahockeyfoundation.com/jj
Alternatively, donations may be mailed to: Jim Johannson Legacy Fund, The USA Hockey Foundation, 1775 Bob Johnson Drive, Colorado Springs, CO 80906
Or memorials are encouraged in support of a charity of your choice.