Sunday, September 20, 2020


October 27, 1930—September 5, 2020

   OWATONNA, MN - Mina Jean Gilsdorf Johnson passed away at Allina Homestead Hospice House on Saturday, September 5, 2020, in Owatonna, MN. Mina was born October 27, 1930, in La Crosse, Wisconsin to Jesse Earl and Marie Elizabeth Gilsdorf of Bangor, Wisconsin.

   Mina spent her childhood in Bangor, where she met Maurice Robert Johnson. They married August 8, 1948. They were blessed with nine children, six girls and three boys. When they were first married they lived in Hersheyville, WI. Later they purchased their first farm by Cataract, WI. Through the years, Maurice added land to farm and had a productive beef operation where he taught the children to work hard and treat others as you want to be treated. Mina was a full time homemaker, involved in HomeMakers Club. She loved to bake!

   In 1987, they sold their farm and lived in a pickup camper and traveled for the next 11 years. They would winter in Truth or Consequences, New Mexico and summer in the Midwest. Maurice was taken too soon in 2004. In 2007, Mina moved back to Sparta to live at Heritage Haven Apartments. She was an active volunteer at the nursing home and at the grocery store, pulling orders for shut-ins. She knit mounds of hats for cancer patients and preemie babies. Most recently she was involved with “Knitted Knockers” to help women who have had breast cancer. She loved doing crossword puzzles, watching game shows and Judge Judy and playing cards. She played organized cards 4-5 times a week and was always up for a pick up game. Mina was diagnosed with a brain tumor in June, 2020 and moved to Owatonna to live at the Hospice House.

   Mina is survived by six of her children - Kathy (Val) Crispin, Liz (Buzz) Roeske, Butch (Madonna) Johnson, Geri (Harold Hatz) Leis, Patti (Dan) Kenow and Marge (Dianne) Dorey; 17 grandchildren and a field of great-grands.

   She was preceded in death by her husband, Maurice; her parents, Jesse and Marie; her brother John; daughter Ginger; sons Chuck and Danny.

   Lanham-Schanhofer Funeral Home in Sparta, Wisconsin will be in charge of the service.

   Visitation will be from 10:00 - 11:00 on Saturday, September 12th. A private family service and graveside burial will follow. Social distancing guidelines will be encouraged.

   Online condolences may be sent to Mina’s family at

   In lieu of flowers, memorials can be directed to a charity of the donor’s choice.

   The Lanham-Schanhofer Funeral Home, Sparta, is assisting the family with arrangements.

Lanham-Schanhofer Funeral Home

Evans Print & Media Group

1302 River Rd.
P.O. Box 252

Sparta, WI 54656-0252

Office Number: (608) 269-3186
Fax Number: (608) 269-6876


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