Craig Johnson was born Aug. 31, 1952, to Richard and Beverly (Holm) Johnson. He passed away May 8 at age 69 after losing his battle with heart issues. Craig grew up around Lake Preston, S.D., and graduated from De Smet, S.D. His first marriage was to Linda (Zell) Johnson from Huron, S.D. In that marriage, his son Jarrett Johnson was born.
After high school, Craig attended South Dakota State University for one semester and then decided to attend meat-cutting school in Pipestone. He had also worked for Fred Peschl for a few years as a meat cutter in De Smet, S.D. After graduating, he went to work in a food market in Minnesota, later coming home to join his dad in agricultural sales. He worked for Sunflower and then later for Landoll as a Territorial Manager, selling tillage equipment in South Dakota, North Dakota and parts of Minnesota.
Craig met Gayle Neuhardt in 2010 and started a long-distance relationship since he lived in Fargo and Gayle lived in Aberdeen, making many trips between them. Soon, they built a home together in White, S.D. on the Six Mile Creek Golf Course. Craig loved going to Gayle’s grandchildren’s events and became especially attached to Barrett.
Craig loved to play golf and organized many farm benefit tournaments during his years with Landoll. He has been golfing at Six Mile Creek since it was developed. Craig was a prankster, loving to see his friends’ reactions to his pranks. He loved hunting pheasants in the fall with his family and enjoyed refinishing furniture as a hobby. Craig loved visiting with his friends and neighbors, having them over for a beer. He enjoyed playing cards at Lefty’s and going to Vikings and Twins games. Together, Craig and Gayle looked forward to following the SDSU basketball teams and Deubrook High School sports. Craig organized our local ‘Cans for Kids,’ donating to youth golf. He was proud of his lawn, and many days, you would also see him mowing problem spots on the golf course.
Craig is survived by his partner, Gayle Neuhardt; his son, Jarrett Johnson; his siblings, Dawn (Roger) Larsen, Glenda (Randy) Odegaard, Theresa (Glen) Jung, Charlie (Brooke) Johnson, Doug (Stacy) Johnson and many nephews and nieces.
Preceding Craig’s death are his parents, Richard and Beverly Johnson and his step-mother, Judy (Nelson) Johnson.
In lieu of flowers, the family would like memorial donations to go to Six Mile Creek Golf Course for continuing improvements. A memorial account has been set up as Craig Johnson Memorial, First Bank & Trust, PO Box 365, White, SD 57401.
A “Celebration of Life” for Craig was held Sun., May 15 at their home on the golf course, 103 Golf View Drive, White, SD.