Curtis Earl Johnson, 89, died Nov. 25, 2023. He was born Aug. 2, 1934, in Decorah, Iowa, to John and Bessie Johnson.

Curt always assumed he would be a farmer like his father, until one day his dad said, “I think you should go to college.” That changed Curt’s life.

Graduating from Mabel (Minnesota) High School in 1953, he went on to get his bachelor’s in history from St. Olaf in 1957 and a master’s of art in history from the University of Iowa in 1964.

Curt started his teaching career in Renville and Albert Lee, then moved to Roseville in 1965, where he taught at Alexander Ramsey and, later, Roseville Area High School, until 1993. Curt taught English, history and American studies. But he really enjoyed his involvement with the debate program.

Along with teaching, in 1975 Curt and Mary opened Heritage II, a Scandinavian gift store in St. Anthony Park. The store lasted for 39 years, with other stores in the Signal Hills Shopping Mall, White Bear Lake and Excelsior.

Curt was preceded in death by his two sons, Bjorn and Rurik. He is survived by his wife of 66 years Mary (Gunelson); daughter Rannveig (Dennis) Polinski and two grandchildren.

A celebration of life service was held at St. Timothy Lutheran Church.

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