Roland Paul “Rollie” Johnson, age 81, of Munising died unexpectedly on Friday evening, April 1, 2022 at UPHS – Marquette. He was born on March 1, 1941 in Munising to Axel George and Elizabeth “Peggy” Sophia (Dolan) Johnson. Rollie grew up in Wetmore and Munising. During school, he ski jumped, ran track, and was a successful running back for the Mustang football team. Rollie graduated Wm. G. Mather High School in 1959. He moved to Wisconsin and worked for Allis Chalmers. Rollie returned to Munising and worked at Sears but then returned to Kenosha and worked at American Motors Rambler as a detail painter. He had family in Flint and moved there to go to work in the auto industry. Rollie decided it wasn’t for him and went to work for Consumer Power (now DTE). He returned home and was a lineman for UP Power Company until his retirement. Rollie and Sharon (Beaudoin) Hancock were married on August 11, 1979 and together raised their family.
In their retirement years, they wintered in Texas, Florida, North Carolina, and Alabama. Rollie fished everywhere he went, but he especially enjoyed his time on his boat on Lake Superior and fishing Redfish in Aransas Bay near Rockport, Texas. He truly loved the Upper Peninsula and its beauty of water and woods. Rollie had a gift for never meeting a stranger and made new friends everywhere he went, but he always cherished his old lifelong friends. Together, they fished, played cards, went rabbit hunting, and took rides in the woods. He was blessed with very dear friends and those friends were blessed by having Rollie as a friend. He was on one of those people who just looked after anyone who needed it. Rollie was unselfish with his time and talents. The pandemic took its toll on Rollie’s social visits, but he was always dependable to those who needed him. Rollie will always be remembered for his trips in “Old Blue,” his red Tracker with his sidekick Chiefy, or in his Jeep Liberty with his lab Remi. He was a past member of the Munising Moose Lodge, Grand Island Masonic Lodge, the Shriners, and Scottish Rite.
The most important thing in Rollie’s world was family. He made them better people by encouraging them and bringing out their best. Rollie was so proud of his children and grandchildren. He had a tough exterior when he would call family meeting and remind his children “that he hasn’t always been this age, and you think I don’t know what you are doing?” He passed on a strong work ethic that has carried through the generations. Rollie enjoyed trips to North Carolina to spend time with Paul and his sons. He was enamored when his granddaughter Emily was born and was her biggest fan. Road trips with Rollie always ended with a trip to get ice cream or something sweet. He cherished his family and would do anything to protect them or help them. Rollie was a kind, funny, devoted, nonjudgmental, dependable man who loved his life and family, and who was always there for their needs. Rollie had a presence wherever he was and that will carry on through his family in the love, memories, and stories they will always share.
Rollie is survived by his loving wife of over forty-two years – Sharon Johnson of Munising; children – Dean (Mary) Johnson of AuTrain, Paul (Cheryl Bowman) of Waxhaw, NC, and Laurie (Hancock) (Jeff) Conn of Fowlerville, MI; grandchildren – Dean Jr., Sean, Jacob, and Michael, Bryan, Alex, Ethan, and Emily; sister – Judy (Bill) Rousseau of Christmas; nieces and nephews; and many dear friends. He was preceded in death by his parents Axel and Peggy, parents-in-law Leo and Edith Beaudoin, and infant sister Sally.
Visiting time with family and friends will be held at the Bowerman Funeral Home on Saturday, April 9, 2022 from 3:00 p.m. until 5:00 p.m.
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