Our Sojourn Spotlight this month is shining on Irving Johnson. Irving lives in one of our Sojourn Suites and attends our Day Center program. Irv just celebrated his 90th Birthday February 16th! When asked how he feels about turning 90, he responded, “I don’t think about that much,” said daughter Jody. A true testament to age only being a number.
Irving grew up locally in Excelsior, attending Excelsior High School. Just shy of graduation in 1945, Irv decided to take the GED and enlist in the Army. His next move was to Fort Riley Kansas where he attended basic training. In October 1945, he stationed in the Calvary 24th division in Japan. Upon his return, Irving met his wife Geraldine on a blind date.
Irving and Geraldine were married 59 years before her passing in 2008. They raised four children, two of which remain near their Dad in Minnesota. Irv’s career as a metal worker gave him time for many volunteer activities in the community. He spent time as a Boy Scout leader, bowler, golfer, skier and fisherman. Irv and Geraldine were also very involved in their church in Excelsior.
One of the highlights in Irving’s life was in 2015, when his nephew Mark accompanied him on a Twin Cities Honor Flight which takes Veteran’s on a day – long tour to Washington D.C. Once in D.C, they visited the monuments and veteran sights. Irving also met Senator Bob Dole during this trip, yet another highlight. Both daughter Jody and nephew Mark marveled at the stamina Irv had at age 88 that special day in Washington. “I think he was functioning on adrenaline to get through that long day,” mentions Jody.
Often described as a gentle soul, Irving seems to have figured out the important things in life. His family, which also consists of grandchildren, great grandchildren and 2 great – great grandchildren love him dearly.
“My Dad has had a very happy life,” states daughter Jody. Sojourn is blessed to help continue his care and work with such a fantastic family. Happy Birthday Irving Johnson!