Harold A. Johnson, 88, Portage

January 17, 2019

Harold A. Johnson, 88, of Portage, passed away unexpectedly, on Monday, Jan. 14, 2019.

Harold was born Sept. 26, 1930, the son of Alfred and Meta (Messer) Johnson. He was confirmed in 1944, at St. Paul’s Lutheran Church in Caledonia, and graduated from Portage High School in 1948. Harold married Shirley Peterson on Oct. 24, 1959, in Wisconsin Dells. He served his country in the United States Army from 1951 to 1953 including time served in Korea, and helping to build the Freedom Gate Bridge. He was also a member of the Army Reserve from 1953 to 1957. Harold was awarded the Korean and United Nations Service Medals.

He worked for the U.S. Post Office in Portage for 26 years until he retired in 1990, and then worked for Adesa Auto Auction from 1995 to 2014. Harold enjoyed hunting and fishing with family and provided countless meals of fresh fish filets to friends and neighbors. He was a long-time member of St. John’s Evangelical Lutheran Church in Portage.

Harold started playing sheepshead at the age of 4, sitting on his mother’s lap. He continued playing cards daily with friends downtown and enjoyed his “night job” playing at the blackjack table. He was a loving and devoted husband, father, grandfather and friend to many. He taught his family, by example, his strong faith in God and how to live with integrity and honesty. Harold earned the respect of everyone who knew him.

He is survived by his three daughters, Lori Udelhofen of Baraboo, his former son-in-law, Larry Udelhofen, Shelley (Rodney) Oosterhof of DeForest and Nancy Johnson of Portage; seven grandchildren, Cassie Krueger, Jared Udelhofen, Jessica (A.J.) Fischer, Brett (Rachael) Udelhofen, Haley, Brandon (Abby Aide) and Carly Oosterhof; 14 great-grandchildren, Dylan, Hannah, McKenzie, Haley, Justin, Kayla, Rylee, Olivia, Makayla, Traeton, Zoe, Luca, Landyn and Wyatt; one great-great grandchild, Nevaeh; his brother, Alvin (Marilyn Pahl) Johnson; several nieces, nephews, cousins and many friends. Harold was preceded in death by his parents; his mother-in-law and father-in-law; his wife, Shirley; an infant brother; his sister, Lois Spear; and his close friend, Mary Jane Huber.

Funeral services will be held at 11:30 a.m. Saturday, Jan. 19, at St. John’s Evangelical Lutheran Church in Portage, 850 Armstrong St., Portage, with the Rev. Rod Armon officiating. Burial will follow in Newport Cemetery. Visitation will be from 4 to 8 p.m. Friday, Jan. 18, at Pflanz Mantey Mendrala Funeral Home in Portage (www.pmmfh.com), and from 10:30 to 11:30 a.m. Saturday at the church.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to St. John’s Evangelical Lutheran Church in Portage.

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