Skip to content
Franklyn A. Johnson

Franklyn A. Johnson

May 23, 1930 - June 2, 2018

Frank Johnson leaves behind a legacy of passion. Passion for his family, friends, and life as an educator and love for athletics as a player and coach. Frank was born on May 23, 1930 and peacefully passed away on June 2nd at the Solvay House embraced by his wife and children.

Franklyn, spelled with a "y" not an "i", defined his life as unique at a young age. He spent his youth hunting and fishing on his family farm in Marengo Valley, WI. He developed a lifelong love for gardening. His grandchildren will remember him for his delicious green beans to be picked at just the right time each summer, and not a day earlier.

He graduated from Denfeld High School in 1948. He enlisted in the Air Force and served his country with loyalty and pride. His lifelong friend and birthday buddy Harvey Boyat shared many memorable stories and poems from their time together at the Duluth Air Base.

Frank enrolled at UMD in 1952 to play hockey. He always made it known that he went to college to play hockey, not school. His choice to major in math stemmed from "how easy it was" for him.

Little did he know, that this decision would lead to a lifelong career as a math educator in the Duluth School District, dedicating 31 years of service to his students.

Frank began his life as an educator at Proctor High School in 1956. There he coached the first Rails hockey team, instructed junior high math and coached baseball. After his time at Proctor he taught at Washington Junior High School for a short time. Frank is most remembered for his time teaching and coaching at Morgan Park High School, where he had the pleasure of teaching all three of his children. Rarely was there a moment when "Mr. Johnson" wasn't recognized in public by his former students. His time as a Wildcat included, teaching math, coaching hockey and serving as the school treasurer, helping to raise funds to purchase the Wildcat Bus. He and his best friend Alex Sisto, spent many hours riding and driving the bus and helping to mold young men into proud Morgan Park graduates.

Over 25 years, Frank managed the Duluth School Districts athletic events at Public School Stadium and the DECC. Everyone knew Frank for his precise bookkeeping and welcoming presence. His hours of time, helped to create positive athletic experiences for all the area coaches and players.

Frank's passion for athletics is seen throughout his days. He has endless stories and experiences playing hockey, officiating and coaching hockey, golfing, and walking his coveted two miles everyday. With his lifelong friend Alex, they started one of the first hockey and skating school in the Twin Ports, called the "Spirit Valley Hockey School". He spent countless hours and strokes at Enger Park Golf Course with this friends, golfing in the Sunset and Senior Leagues.

Frank will be missed for his ability to make everyone he meets feel welcomed and special. His sense of humor and great storytelling skills always made him a hit at social gatherings.

Frank shared his "bucket list" of things to accomplish in his the last two months of life and he reached every item on his list, including; welcoming two beautiful great granddaughters, celebrating his 88th birthday, visiting with many friends at the graduation celebration and knowing that his twin grandsons graduated from Esko High School.

Frank is survived by his wife of 62 years, Darlene (LaBrosse) Johnson; and his two children, David (Diana) Johnson and Susan (Shawn) Northey; his grandchildren, Andrea (Dion) Hoeffling, Laura (Jude) Rust, Robert (Amanda) Johnson, Michael (Jena) Rust, Tyler Northey, Carter Northey; and three great-grandchildren, Hudson, Hailey and Kensley; brother Don (Rita) Johnson; brothers-in-law, Ray (Cecelia) LaBrosse and Al Turnquist; his special nieces and nephews; and special family friend, Sister Mary Jo Sobieck.

Welcoming Frank to heavens gates are, his daughter, Linda (Johnson) Rust; his sister Margaret (Johnson) Turnquist; and his parents, Frank and Selma. We are sure many other dear friends were waiting to welcome Frank into eternal life.

The family would like to extend a special thank you to, Dr. Gilbertson, Ecumen Lakeshore, Solvay House and the Norton Park United Methodist Church Family for all of the care and compassion shared with Frank.

VISITATION: Wednesday June 6th- 5-7pm at the Cremation Society of Minnesota, 4100 Grand Avenue, Duluth, MN. Celebration of Life Service- Thursday June 7th- 10am at Norton Park United Methodist Church, 436 North 79th Ave. West.