Photos (1) View All

Roy Stewart Johnson Jr., 84, of Rochester, devout and loyal husband, father and grandfather, died Feb. 3, 2019, after a courageous battle against metastatic prostate cancer that spread to his bone marrow. He died, surrounded by family members, at Seasons Hospice House.

Roy was born March 4, 1934, to Roy and Hildegard “Hilly” Johnson in Chicago. He lived in Homewood and attended Thornton Township High School. There, he was a three-sport letter winner and state participant in football, basketball and track.

Upon his high school graduation, he had multiple NCAA basketball scholarship offers, including Kentucky, Kansas, Michigan State and Iowa. He chose the latter and became a Hawkeye and a member of the Sigma Chi Fraternity. He played on the 1954-1955 NCAA Final Four team. The 1955-1956 season found Roy with a surgically repaired knee that forced him into a medical redshirt but still traveled with the team as Iowa once again went to the Final Four and played in the national championship game. In 2006, this Final Four team celebrated a 50-year anniversary, and Roy, along with his teammates, was honored with the prestigious Golden Hawk Award.

It was at the University of Iowa that he met his wife, Carol (Newman), at a homecoming gathering between his fraternity and her sorority. They married the following August and were always by each other’s side for 64 years.

Roy received his teaching and coaching degree in social studies from Iowa as well as his master’s in Educational Administration. He furthered his studies and received an educational specialist degree ED. Sp. from Winona State University.

Roy and Carol moved to Vinton, Iowa, in 1957, where they taught high school and Roy coached three sports. In 1966, they relocated to Rochester, when Roy accepted an assistant principal assignment at John Marshall High School. In 1993, he was named Minnesota Assistant Principal of the Year for his heartfelt commitment to students, staff and community. He remained at John Marshall until his retirement in 1995.

Roy was a true outdoorsman and dog lover. He enjoyed duck hunting with his labs and fished year round. He looked forward to time spent at the family lake home on Mille Lacs Lake. One of his favorite fishing moments was successfully catching and pulling a 26-pound northern through an ice hole. Roy was also an avid gardener and lilies were his specialty. He took great pride in their yearly bloom. He was an active bowler and until his illness also enjoyed riding his four wheeler and maple syruping at the cabin.

He is survived by his wife, Carol; daughters, Lori Ann and Lisa (Robert) Wiesner; sister, Norma (Don) Johnson; and four grandchildren, Adam, Chelsea, Andy and Sarah. He is preceded in death by his parents; and an infant brother, Richard.

Roy donated his body to Mayo for medical research. There will be a visitation from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 10, at Ranfranz and Vine Funeral Homes. A memorial service for the family will be held at a later date.

The family wishes to give special thanks to Seasons Hospice, Visiting Angels, Saint Marys Hospital, Mayo NE Medical and Anticoagulation Clinic.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Paws and Claws, John Marshall Endowment Fund, Seasons Hospice, or The Channel One Food Shelf.

Arrangements are with Ranfranz and Vine Funeral Homes, 5421 Royal Place NW, Rochester, MN 55901. To share a special memory please visit

Submit a Condolence

Please refresh the page to leave Condolence.

Still seeing this message? Presh Ctrl + F5 to do a "Hard Refresh".

Condolences (0)

To receive each day's headlines to your inbox sign up for our email updates.