It is with deep sadness that I report the news of the death of Kenneth Johnsen. Ken Passed Away on March 9, 2018 at the age of 69. He will be greatly missed by his family, friends and Classmates from the class of '66.
We give thanks for Ken's life.
Ken Johnsen Passed Away on March 9, 2018
1966 North High School Photo!
Class of '66 Sno-King Finalists
Steven Sudduth, Terry Tompkins, Ken Johnsen, Tom DeMars, Dennis Kollodge & John Sullivan
Ken's brother, Bruce, called Terry Tompkins
Terry send me this email on: Tuesday, April 03, 2018 at 06:19 pm
Subject: Another NHS friend/classmate is gone.
Back in Minneapolis less than 24 hours (from Pensacola) and just learned that my dear friend Ken Johnsen passed away March 9th in Ely, MN.
I spoke with his brother, Bruce, who had left a recorder message for us regarding Ken's death. Saddened by the news..... quite a shock.
Date: April 4th, 2018 3:56 pm
Email from: Terry Tompkins
Subject: Ken Johnsen Memorial
This additional information was provided by Ken's brother, Bruce, regarding a memorial gathering to be held for Ken.....
Saturday, April 14th, 2018
2:00 - 5:00 (pm) at the
Grand Ely Lodge
400 North Pioneer Road
See You All in Ely, Minnesota April 14th, 2018 (God Willing)
April 13th, 2018 ( 11:00pm )
Very sad to have to miss Ken's service. We had a group from the class of '66 going up to Ely April 14th 8am, but due to the weather we had to cancel.
Fax sent to The Grand Ely Lodge (1-218-365-2840) April 14th, 2018 3:45pm
Kenneth "Ken" Johnsen
Class of '66
To the family and friends of Ken Johnsen,
Our deepest sympathy at the passing of Ken. He will be greatly missed by his Classmates from the class of '66.
We have many fond memories of his days at North High.Terry Tompkins, Ron Torkelson, Floyd Ruggles and a group from the class of '66 had planned to be at the service but unfortunately the weather has interfered. We give thanks for Ken's life.
Click to Listen To The Music! "Knockin' On Heaven Door "
Biography Kenneth C. "Ken" Johnsen
April 14th, 2018
Deceased (Ken passed away March 9th, 2018)
Santa Fe, New Mexico - Ely, Minnesota
April 22nd, 1948
Married to Sandra Joosten
Two children, Sam and Janel
Soo Line Railroad & Journeyman in the Carpenters Union
Ken had many skills.Worked as a property manager at a large retirement complex, and he restored numerous homes. He loved creative projects, once converting an old wooden water tower into a two-story gazebo overlooking a lake. He was a perfectionist, unhesitatingly working with tile, plumbing, and electricity. When he finished a job, everything fit and everything worked. He even built custom booths for Do North Pizza in Two Harbors.
Eternal Flame of Friendship's
Ken my friend & classmate, I will miss you!
Kenneth C. Johnsen, 69, of Ely, dies
Kenneth C. Johnsen, 69, of Ely, “All is Well”
Ken Johnsen of Ely, Minn., began his next journey on March 9, 2018 at home, surrounded by his family. Ken came to us on April 22, 1948 and by all accounts was a curious and active child, positive traits he never lost.
Ken practiced living in the present, generosity, and optimism. His advice to us all is to: “Be happy and enjoy life just as it comes, one day at a time.” Ken was in Ely for only two years, but in that time, he touched the lives of all whom he met. He loved schmoozing with everyone at the Front Porch, discussing books at Chapman Street Books and at the Ely Public Library, foraging for samples at Zup’s, and finding good deals at the Goodwill store.
He loved taking his grandchildren to Miners Lake for exploration and fishing. A frequent picker and tour guide for out-of-towners at the dump, Ken could see the potential in all things and in all people.
He loved playing giant checkers in the lobby of the Grand Ely Lodge with his soulmate, Becky Komarek. Together, they drove all the backroads to find the best views of Shagawa Lake and pick out the lake homes they would buy with their imaginary lottery winnings. Ken and his brother, Bruce, recently parked at the end of the road on 169 and spent time together, just talking about life and philosophy and faith.
He grew up in Minneapolis and graduated from North High School in 1966. After that, Ken married Sandra Joosten, and they had two children, Sam and Janel. While growing up, Sam and Janel enjoyed many outings to the science museum, home maintenance apprenticeships, bike rides, and reading with their father. Ken also tirelessly performed many pas de deux performances with his daughter, Janel, on their living room stage. Ken had many skills. He was a proud union member, first as an employee of the Soo Line Railroad, and then as a journeyman in the Carpenters Union. He always told his son-in-law, Chris, an aspiring woodworker, that they would welcome him. Ken worked as a property manager at a large retirement complex, and he restored numerous homes. He loved creative projects, once converting an old wooden water tower into a two-story gazebo overlooking a lake. He was a perfectionist, unhesitatingly working with tile, plumbing, and electricity. When he finished a job, everything fit and everything worked. He even built custom booths for Do North Pizza in Two Harbors. His biggest work, however, came on his own recovery. He worked his program diligently, and he helped others work their own programs.
He lived in Minnesota, California, New Mexico, Hawaii, and he even lived in Kentucky with his sister and brother-in-law (Ann and George), where he made a real circle of friends while helping build an addition on the house and learning how to keep bees. He was a poet, artist, and enjoyed travel of all kinds, including trips to East Africa and China.
He was preceded in death by mother Betty, father Carl, sisters: Lynda (Gillespie) and Valerie (Johnsen). Survived by: Becky Komarek; children Sam Johnsen and Janel (Chris) Koenig; grandchildren: Jessica and Max; brother Bruce (Beverly) Johnsen; sisters: Jane (Ben) Braverman, Ann (George) Coleman, Natalie Morrison (August Nimtz), and Naomi (Chaunce) Stanton; numerous nephews and nieces; and countless friends. Our brother, father, friend, lover, uncle, and grandfather will be truly missed.
He came this way but once. Yet, he touched our lives in many ways while he was here. We shall remain eternally grateful for his friendship and for the influence he bestowed upon us.
See You All in Ely, Minnesota April 14th, 2018 (God Willing)
Things That Never Die
The pure, the bright, the beautiful That stirred our hearts in youth, The impulses to wordless prayer, The streams of love and truth, The longing after something lost, The spirit's yearning cry, The striving after better hopes- These things can never die.
The timid hand stretched forth to aid A brother in his need; A kindly word in grief's dark hour That proves a friend indeed; The plea for mercy softly breathed, When justice threatens high, The sorrow of a contrite heart- These things shall never die.
Let nothing pass, for every hand Must find some work to do, Lose not a chance to waken love- Be firm and just and true. So shall a light that cannot fade Beam on thee from on high, And angel voices say to thee- "These things shall never die."