Norman E. Johnson, age 88 of Plum City, passed away peacefully to his heavenly home on Wednesday, July 1, 2020 at Sacred Heart Hospital in Eau Claire with his family by his side.
Norman was born on December 23, 1931 in Plum City to Elmer R. and Anna D (Inabnit) Johnson. He worked with his father in carpentry work after grade school until he was drafted into the U.S. Marine Corps in 1952, during the Korean Conflict. He was a life member of the DAV. After his return home, he worked at the VA Hospital in Minneapolis as an orderly. In December of 1954, Norman married the love of his life, Pearl Gleiter of Alma, WI. They had two children, Cynthia and James, two granddaughters-Jenny (Matt Benusa) and Emily Stone.
Realizing a need to further his education, he completed an 18-credit college-preparatory correspondence course, passing the GED exams and was granted a diploma from Plum City High School. Norm then enrolled in the University of Minnesota and Mt. Sinai Hospital in the study of Radiology and Nuclear Medicine. He worked at the Mt. Sinai Hospital as Asst. Chief Radiologic Technologist until 1960 when he was accepted as the Chief Radiologic and Administration Technologist at the Eitel Hospital in Minneapolis School of Technology where he remained department director for 22 years. While at the hospital he founded the Eitel Hospital School of Radiologic Technology and affiliated with the University of Minnesota and served as school director. While there, Norman invented x-ray equipment including an angiographic x-ray table and a radiation control unit.
While still in Radiology, Norman studied journalism and photography as a second career. He qualified for OWAA (Outdoor Writers Assn. of America) as a professional writer and earned his press card. He had more than 900 published articles in magazines, books and digests, along with more than 5,000 published photos and several magazines covers and writing awards.
After Norman left his position in Radiology, he and Pearl returned to Plum City and he pursued studies in ballistics, machining and gunsmithing, where he invented several items including a case neck gauge and scope alignment rods, new cartridges among many other useful items. He was well known by hunters and shooters around the area for his knowledge of gun and bow repair, gun sight-ins, gunsmithing and machining.
Norman also loved golf and gave golf lessons in Minneapolis and around Plum City and Durand. He received a US Patent on a golf putter and won 31 tournaments around Minneapolis and the Chippewa Valley Golf Area (CVGA) where he won the Durand Open in 1971.
He loved deer hunting with a bow and had several bucks in the record books including Safari Club International. He hunted fox and coyote with a rifle, often snowshoeing long distances. He also enjoyed growing watermelons, making maple syrup, woodcutting and some wood carving.
Immanuel Lutheran Church in Plum City was always special to Norman, where he was baptized confirmed and married. He served as an elder for many years.
Norman will be greatly missed by his loving wife of 65 ½ years, Pearl, daughter Cynthia (Randy) Pryzbilla; son James (Valerie), two granddaughters Jenny (Matt) Benusa and Emily Stone; his brother Willard, brothers-in-law, Alvin & LaVerne Gleiter, sister-in-law, Arlene Parent, along with many dear nieces, nephews, cousins and friends. He is preceded in death by his parents, his sisters Beatrice Johnson in infancy and Marie (Johnson) Gleiter; parents-in-law-John & Rose Gleiter, daughter-in-law Margaret “Peggy” Johnson, his brothers-in-law Edwin Gleiter, Edward Parent and Elton Loewenhagen and sisters-in-law Marlene (Bergman) Gleiter, Emma Loewenhagen and Rosemary (Shibely) Gleiter.
Private Family Services will be held at a later date.
Memorials may be made in Norman’s memory to Immanuel Lutheran Church, 420 1st St, Plum City, WI 54761.
Rhiel Funeral Home & Cremation Services, Durand, is serving the family.