Merle Johnson was born November 28, 1947, in Jackson, Minnesota to the late Del and Goldie (Bretzman) Johnson. Merle attended Jackson Public schools, graduating with the class of 1964. After high school, he went on to earn his associate degree from Jackson Vo-Tech in auto mechanics.
On September 17, 1966, Merle was united in marriage to Sandra Bunkers at St. Joseph’s Catholic Church in Lakefield. Together, they moved to Windom where he worked at the elevator and built grain bins until 1974 when he began farming in rural Jackson. While farming, he sold Pioneer seed for 25 years. They were blessed with two children, Doug and Michelle.
When Merle wasn’t working, he was buying and selling used cars or toy tractors. His toy collection was extensive and impressive – known worldwide. His love of cars translated to his love for sprint car racing. He was an avid fan, traveling across the United States. He loved spending time with his grandchildren, cheering on Kaleb as he raced and following the 4-H circuit, supporting Andy and Ali with their show animals.
Merle passed away Friday, April 28, 2023, at the Good Samaritan Society in Jackson at the age of 75 years old.
Merle is survived by his wife, Sandra (Bunkers) Johnson; two children, Doug (Yvonne) Johnson of Sioux Falls, SD, and Michelle (Loren “Pork”) Eckert of Jackson; three grandchildren, Kaleb Johnson of Sioux Falls, SD, Andy (Dayna Sinn) Eckert of Sherburn, and Ali (Alec Snyder) Eckert of Alpha; great-granddaughter, Harper Snyder; step-great-grandchildren, Memphis Abram and Maxx Heser; sister, Diann (Bill) Diekmann of Fairmont; and numerous nieces and nephews.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Del and Goldie Johnson.
Blessed be the memory of Merle Johnson.
A Celebration of Life Visitation for Merle Johnson, age 75, of Jackson, was held on Tuesday, May 2, 2023, at the LaCanne Family Celebration of Life Center in Jackson. A private, family burial was held at the Riverside Cemetery in Jackson on Wednesday, May 3rd with Riley Place officiating.
Arrangements are under the care of the LaCanne Family Celebration of Life Center in Jackson. Condolences and memories of Merle may be sent online to www.lacannefuneralhome.com.