Roger James Johnson, age 85, of Olathe, KS (formerly of Appleton, WI and Horseshoe Bay, TX), was called to be with his Savior on Wednesday, November 24, 2021, after a brief illness. He was born on October 19, 1936, in Merrill, WI, to the late Robert and Ann (Sauer) Johnson. He graduated from West Bend High School, where he excelled in baseball, basketball and football. Prior to attending college, he joined the military and served his country in Korea for 2 years. Upon his return, he attended Whitewater State College, where he starred in baseball and football. Roger was quarterback and captain of the Warhawks first conference championship teams in 1959 and 1960. He was inducted into the Whitewater Athletics Hall of Fame in 1976 as the first football player to earn Little All-American honors, and the first to sign a pro contract, earning a training camp invitation from Vince Lombardi and the Green Bay Packers in 1961. lt was at Whitewater that he met his wife Carol (Kohlmetz). They were married on June 16, 1962, at St. John’s Church in Whitewater, WI, and he remained a loving and faithful husband to her for 46 years until her death in 2008. He later met, through God’s grace and mutual friends, an incredible woman named Marilyn Bohnert of Olathe, KS. They were married October 13, 2012, at Good Shepherd Catholic Church in Shawnee, KS in and enjoyed a wonderful 9 years together.
Having earned his degree in business administration, Roger began his successful business career with the public accounting firm Ernst & Ernst and during his time there earned his CPA and CLU certifications. He also held various financial leadership positions with Leach Company, Management Science Inc., and Employers Insurance of Wausau. In 1975, he joined Aid Association for Lutherans and began his 24-year tenure there as Controller. During his time at AAL he also served as Second Vice President, Vice President, Senior VP of Corporate Information Services, Chief Financial Officer and Treasurer, and in his final 2 years was Executive VP of the Field Sales Staff. Upon his retirement in 1999, he was retained as a consultant to AAL’s field staff, served on several corporate boards of directors, and a was business consultant and mentor to several companies and individuals. Throughout his career, he took great pride in mentoring his coworkers and watching them succeed.
Faith, family, and friends were of utmost importance to Roger. He loved traveling, playing tennis and golf, and spending time with family and friends at his cottage on Tuttle Lake. He was loved dearly by his children and grandchildren and was incredibly proud of his family. Roger loved his Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and was an active member of Mount Olive Lutheran Church in Appleton and Holy Word Lutheran in Austin, TX for many years. He lived life to the fullest to the very end, and we take comfort in knowing that he is now safe in his heavenly home and in the loving arms of his Savior.
Roger is survived by his wife Marilyn; his sons Todd (Sara) of Town of Harrison, WI and Tim (Dina) of Fredericksburg, TX, and daughter Alissa (Andy) Hutton of Dripping Springs, TX, as well as his 8 grandchildren: Brenna, Drew, Quinn, Derek, Emily, Griffin, Ramsey, and Graham. He had an enormous sense of pride in his children and grandchildren and connected with each and enriched their lives in a unique way. He was preceded in death by his first wife, Carol, his parents Robert and Ann, and his brother Ron.
The family would like to express our sincere thanks to the staff at Kansas University Medical Center for the professional and personalized care they administered to Roger. In lieu of flowers, memorials in Roger’s name may be directed to Wounded Warrior Project, St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, or a charity of your choice.
The Christian funeral service for Roger will be held at 11:00 AM on Saturday, January 22, 2022, at BETHANY EV. LUTHERAN CHURCH, 530 W. Parkway Blvd., Appleton. The Rev. Donald Patterson of Holy Word Ev. Lutheran Church (Austin, TX) will be officiating. The family will receive friends at the church on January 22 from 10:00 AM until the time of service. The interment will take place in the Appleton Highland Memorial Park cemetery.