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Pastor Robert I. Johnson

Obituary for Pastor Robert I. Johnson

June 13, 1934 - November 4, 2021
Beaver Dam, Wisconsin | Age 87


Robert Irving Johnson, 87, of Beaver Dam, Wisconsin went to meet his Lord and Savior on Thursday, November 4th, 2021 at Butterworth Hospital in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Several family members were able to travel there, and he passed in peace surrounded by loved ones singing, reading scripture, and holding his hand.

The youngest of three siblings, Bob was born on June 13th, 1934, in St. Paul, Minnesota. The family was part of a large Baptist church there. Bob placed his faith in Jesus Christ at age 7 to save him. At the age of 12, his father passed away and his family moved to St. Croix Falls, Wisconsin. After graduating from high school there, he took a year of medical training while working at a blood bank in St. Paul. However, his growing burden for the lost led to his calling to be a pastor. He went to Bob Jones University, where he met his wife, Joan Huber, and they were married on July 28th, 1956. He then continued his education in ministerial studies at Northwestern Baptist Bible College, followed by 3 years at Central Seminary, where he earned his Master of Divinity degree, and became a pastor.

Bob pastored in Wisconsin for 44 years, at churches in Hillsdale, Hartford, Plymouth, and New Holstein. Finally, he pastored in Beaver Dam for 23 years before retiring. His ministry focused on building up struggling churches, both spiritually and physically. As a result, he oversaw the construction of two beautiful church buildings in Plymouth and Beaver Dam. He was also instrumental in founding Baptists for Life of Wisconsin, an organization that establishes crisis pregnancy centers throughout the state. After retiring, he remained active in church ministry, leading Bible studies and preaching in churches as needed.

Bob is survived by his wife of 65 years, Joan Johnson, and sister Sue (Alvin) Matson, his son, Bill Johnson, and four daughters, Linda (Gary) Sugden, Diane (Alan) Capps, Cheri (Jeremy) Spaulding, Julie (Heath) Unruh, and daughter-in-law, Ronda (Steve) Johnson; grandchildren Leah (Stephen) Franklin, Christin (Matt) Ohman, Joe Johnson, Mitch (Hannah) Johnson, Heather (Eric) Pulkowski, Justin (Sarah) Sugden, Brad (Haley) Capps, Austin Sugden, Kaylie Spaulding, Sarah Unruh, Robby (Holly) Capps, Kendra Spaulding, Kelly Unruh, Alida Sugden, Jayse Capps, Jack Spaulding, Luke Unruh, and Holly Unruh; great-grandchildren Andrew Ohman, Natalie Franklin, Olivia Ohman, Meredith Franklin, Sophia Franklin, Alex Ohman, Ethan Franklin, Charles Pulkowski, Madelyn Ohman, Violet Johnson, Tyler Johnson, Evelyn Franklin, Riley Johnson, Owen Franklin, Delaney Franklin, Lucy Sugden, David Capps, and Landon Johnson. He is further survived by nieces, nephews and relatives.

Bob is preceded in death, reunited in glory with parents Harold and Gertrude, and step-father, Roy Sturm; his brother, Dick Johnson, his son, Steve Johnson, and grandsons Nick Johnson, and Davin Unruh.

A visitation for Pastor Johnson will be held on Friday, November 12th, 2021 from 11:00am to 1:00pm, at Harmony Baptist Church in Beaver Dam, Wisconsin. A service celebrating his life will commence at 1:00pm in the same building. Interment will follow at Oakwood Cemetery in Beaver Dam, ending in a light dinner at Bible Baptist Church, across the street from the cemetery. A Livestream of the funeral will be available to view on the Harmony Baptist Church Beaver Dam's Facebook page.

In lieu of flowers, please consider donating to one of the following charities: The Access Women's Center of Madison - A Pro-Life Organization The Damascus Road Project - An Anti-Human Trafficking Organization.

Bob led with a servant's heart and influenced the lives of many. He was a genuine and caring pastor, loving husband, father, and grandfather, a hard-working, honest and humble man. He will be lovingly remembered and profoundly missed by all those who knew and loved him.

The Koepsell-Murray Home in Beaver Dam is serving the family. Online condolence may be made at

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N7199 N. Crystal Lake Road
Beaver Dam, WI 53916
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