Cover photo for Earl Norris Johnson's Obituary
Earl Norris Johnson Profile Photo
1948 Earl 2024

Earl Norris Johnson

March 24, 1948 — February 25, 2024

Detroit Lakes

Earl Norris Johnson, 75, of Detroit Lakes, MN, ate his last piece of warm lefse but couldn’t stick around for the lutefisk. He died on Sunday, February 25 surrounded by family. “Da sun shown, so what more cud I ask!!!!”

Earl was born in Spokane, Washington on March 24th, 1948, to Norris and Karen Johnson. Earl was the oldest of seven children. Shortly after he was born, the family moved to Fertile, MN where Earl spent his childhood and graduated from Fertile High School. After high school, he attended the University of Minnesota in Morris and later St. Paul, completing a degree in wildlife biology.

Earl and Dorothy (“Dotz”) were married on September 6, 1969. From the early days of their family life, Earl could be relied on for a good outdoor adventure. Earl and Dotz enjoyed many outdoor activities including wilderness camping and canoeing, gardening and bee-keeping, and cross- country skiing. Later, these adventures provided many opportunities for the education of children and grandchildren. He tirelessly shared his expertise on every tree, every bird song, every mushroom, every animal track, and every scat sighting.

Earl’s greatest passion was spending time in the woods with his dogs. His award-winning English Setters and his hunting family provided company for woodcock banding adventures, Pineridge Grouse Camp shenanigans, and innumerable hunting trips.

Earl spent his professional career as a Wildlife Manager working for the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources. Among his memorable professional accomplishments were leadership in the Prairie Chicken Society and the nonprofit Woodcock Minnesota, active membership in the Ruffed Grouse Society, and participation in several national Woodcock Wingbee gatherings. Perhaps his most infamous expertise was little brown bats (myotis lucifugus). His bat house design was nationally known and locally notorious, especially at Lincoln Elementary School.

Earl was preceded in death by sons Kaare and Trygve, grandchild Stella, and parents Norris and Karen. He is survived by his wife Dorothy “Dotz” and daughters Erika (Tim), Ramona (Doug), and Maren (John), grandchildren Trygve, Ian, Sylvia, Anna, Walt, and Neal, four sisters and two brothers, and many nieces, nephews and cousins.

Visitation is Thursday, February 29 from 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. at West-Kjos Funeral home with a prayer service at 6:15 p.m. Funeral service will be Friday, March 1st at 11:00 a.m. at Trinity Lutheran Church with visitation at 10:00 a.m.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Earl Norris Johnson, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services

Visitation

Thursday, February 29, 2024

5:00 - 7:00 pm (Central time)

West Kjos Funeral Home Cremation Services

900 Summit Ave., Detroit Lakes, MN 56501

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Prayer Service

Thursday, February 29, 2024

6:30 - 7:00 pm (Central time)

West Kjos Funeral Home Cremation Services

900 Summit Ave., Detroit Lakes, MN 56501

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Memorial Service

Friday, March 1, 2024

Starts at 11:00 am (Central time)

Livestream

Click to watch

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