Walter ‘Wally’ Earl Johnson, 95, of La Crosse, passed away on Tuesday, July 11, 2023, at Gundersen Health System.
He was born on November 17, 1927; the eldest of 6 children of Earl and Esther (Beeler) Johnson. He was a proud lifelong north sider of La Crosse and graduated from Logan High School in 1945. After graduation, Wally served in the Signal Corp of the U.S. Army. On February 20, 1954, he married the love of his life, Dolores Niemeyer and they happily spent 69 wonderful years together. He was a loving father to his 5 daughters, grandfather to 13 and great-grandfather to 20, and a faithful friend to many.
Wally had an amazing 50-year career with the BNSF Railroad. Along with his father, Earl, he was instrumental in the installation of local landmark, the steam locomotive in Copeland Park on La Crosse’s north side. He was also a “Mississippi River Rat” and muskrat trapper, former motorcycle “biker dude” and basketball master, lover of hard work and getting dirty, handyman and gardener, proficient Pinochle player and cheerful loser, and generous giver of gifts and advice. Walter maintained his amazing sense of humor up until the very end, which most certainly will be one of the greatest parts of his legacy. His unconditional love meant the world to his family and they cherish every one of the wonderful memories spent together. He will be forever in their hearts.
Wally is survived by his wife Dolores, daughters Sue (Doug) Darelius, Nancy (Mark) Halverson, Wendy Larson, Katy (Dean) Matzke, Amy (Tim) Johnson-Pierce, 13 grandchildren and 20 great grandchildren, brother Nels, sisters Joan and Mary, brothers-in-law Fred, Jr and Ron and sisters-in-law Claudia and Judy.
He was preceded in death by his parents, sister Audrey, Brother Ralph and grandson Jonathan.
A Funeral Service will be held at 12:00 PM on Saturday, July 15, 2023, at Immanuel Lutheran Church, 1201 Avon St., La Crosse. Pastor David Leistekow will officiate. Family and friends may visit from 11:00 AM until the time of services at Church on Saturday.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made to Immanuel Lutheran Church, the La Crosse Public Library, Luther High School of Onalaska, or Charity of choice.