Skip to content

Ronald Johnson, father of, Phil, long time SJP boys’ basketball coach & grandfather of Levi ’12, Gabriel ’16

Ronald F. Johnson, age 76, St. Cloud, MN, died Monday, February 2, 2015 at the St. Cloud Hospital, St. Cloud, MN.

Funeral services will be Monday, February 9, 2015 at 11:00 AM at First Presbyterian Church, St. Cloud, MN. Visitation will be Sunday, February 8, 2015 from 3:00 to 7:00 PM at Benson Funeral Home, St. Cloud, MN and one hour prior to the service at the church on Monday.

Ron was born on July 20, 1938 in Hallock, MN to Fritz and Ida (Frey) Johnson. He grew up in Baudette, MN until he was 10 when he moved to New Prague. While in New Prague, Ron grew into a fine, tall, young man where he attained great success in high school basketball, leading his team to the state tournament. This was the beginning of a great basketball career that led him to the University of Minnesota where he was an All American player. These were great days for Ron, but the best days began when he married the love of his life, Caroline (Peeke) on August 29, 1959 in Volga, SD. Together they had three children, Kristen, Jennifer and Phillip. The years with the three children growing up were filled with sports, fishing, camping and golf. Ron was a well-respected attorney in St. Cloud for years before ending his career as the Corporate Counsel for Bankers Systems retiring in 2000. He was an active member of the community serving on local boards of non-profits and had numerous leadership roles in the church, including the role of a Wise Man for the Christmas pageant at the First Presbyterian Church. He volunteered in numerous capacities both locally, statewide and internationally, committed to serving the Lord as he was called. He was highly respected and admired for his loving and caring heart and strong faith.

During the last 25 years, Ron became affectionately known as Papa Ron, and has enjoyed watching his 8 grandchildren, Will (Alleks), Ronnie, Dan, Joe, and TJ Kornbaum and Madalyn, Levi and Gabriel Johnson grow into young adults. He continued to be an avid sports fan and most devoted “Big” Papa from little league to university sports’ teams.

He is survived by his loving, devoted wife, Caroline of St. Cloud; children, Kristen (Ben) Jones of Oklahoma City, OK; Jennifer (Frank) Kornbaum of Little Falls, MN; and Phil (Kate) Johnson of Avon, MN; younger brother and sister, Dennis (Mary) of Tonasket, WA and Melanie, of Spokane, WA, eight grand-children, Will (Alleks), Ronnie, Dan, Joe, and TJ Kornbaum and Madalyn, Levi and Gabriel Johnson. He is also survived by numerous sisters-and  brothers-in-law whom he loved dearly: Cheryl (Bill) Edelen of Connecticut, Becky (Bill) Wilson of Nebraska, Dick (Donna) Peeke of Iowa, Jim (Sandy) Peeke of Kansas, and Bryan (Bea) Peeke of Kansas.

Ron was preceded in death by his mother, Ida, and his father, Fritz.
Memorials are preferred to the St. Cloud Salvation Army.