Cover photo for Duane M. Johnson's Obituary
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1954 Duane 2023

Duane M. Johnson

March 1, 1954 — June 20, 2023

Duane M. Johnson, age 69, passed away on June 20, 2023 at his home in rural Johnstown Nebraska. He was born on March 1, 1954 to Mercedes F. (Burrows) and Harold M. Johnson in Ainsworth Nebraska. Duane attended grade school at District 8 country school and Ainsworth Elementary School. He graduated from Ainsworth High School in 1972. During his high school attendance, he was given the nickname “Tornado Johnson” for his skill on the basketball court. He attended Nebraska Wesleyan University and the University of Nebraska Lincoln before returning home to help with the family ranch after the passing of his father.
He was united in marriage to Geri Snyder on February 22, 1979. They had the joy of raising four children – Sam, Laurel, Hannah, and Lars – at their home north of Johnstown.
Duane's interests were many and his knowledge of the natural world was immense. He loved the banjo and playing music with his friends, collecting artifacts, following his favorite hockey team the Pittsburgh Penguins, and driving around the pastures with his dog Bean on his lap. He enriched others with an expansive knowledge of family history and his deep connection to the native land.
He planted and cared for thousands of trees, a practice he continued even after his physical strength declined, motivated by the vision of a greener world. Duane would be the first to call on a friend in need. He lived his life with acceptance and compassion for others, appreciating the uniqueness he saw in people. He had profound appreciation and respect for diversity in all cultures.

“When they built you, brother, they turned dust into gold. When they built you brother, they broke the mold.” -Bruce Springsteen

He was preceded in death by parents, Harold and Mercedes, and his twin brother and best friend Dwight. Survivors include: Geri Johnson of Johnstown, children Sam Johnson of Johnstown, Laurel Johnson & partner Dr. Liran Bendor of Omaha, NE, Hannah Harmon and husband, Thomas of Lincoln, NE, and Lars Johnson of Lincoln, NE; father-in-law James Snyder and wife, Becky of Sun Lakes, AZ; siblings: Harold Johnson Jr. and wife, Gaylia of Omaha, NE, Diane Johnson and husband, Chris Stahlke of Fort Calhoun, NE, and Blaine Johnson and wife, Nina of York, NE: brother-in-law Bryan Snyder and wife, Tamara of Grand Junction, CO; along with nieces, nephews, other family members and friends and his beloved dog Bean.

No services are being planned at this time. Hoch Funeral Home of Ainsworth assisted with preparations, and condolences may by left for the family at www.hochfuneralhome.com .
To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Duane M. Johnson, please visit our flower store.

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