Grant Alan Johnson | Morris Nilsen Funeral Chapel

October 17, 1957 - January 14, 2019

Grant Johnson, age 61, of Richfield, went home to his Lord and Savior on January 14, 2019. His ability to smile despite multiple challenges was a blessing to many. His sense of humor and sharp wit will be missed by those fortunate enough to have known him. He is survived by his parents, Quentin and Leola Johnson, sisters Dr. LeAnn Snow (John), Roberta Reed (Dale), Lisa Williams (Darrell), and Rebecca Johnson; nephews Ben, Jordan, Tyler, Michael, and Andrew, along with many other relatives and friends.

Grant was born on October 17, 1957 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. He was the second child of Quentin and Leola Johnson. He was the only brother to four sisters.
He attended Richfield High School, and graduated in 1976. While in high school he played goalie on the soccer team, and participated in tennis. He enjoyed playing
trombone in the band, and double bass in the orchestra for the annual school
musicals. He was in the National Honor Society, and on the RHS Quiz Bowl team.
Besides graduating as the top student in his high school class, he was named “Richfield’s Outstanding Youth of 1975”.

After high school, he attended Bethel College in St. Paul, MN (now Bethel University), and graduated from there in 1980. While at Bethel, he majored in Chemistry, with
intent to apply to medical school. He continued to play soccer while in college. One of his distinct claims to fame at Bethel was being a member of “The Pit”, which was the group of men who lived in the dorm rooms in the basement of the men’s dormitory. He also enjoyed photography, refereeing for youth soccer, and working as a teaching assistant in chemistry lab.

In 1980, Grant began his studies in Medical School at the University of Minnesota Twin Cities. He enjoyed the coursework, and was aspiring to a career in Internal Medicine or Obstetrics & Gynecology. However, Grant’s life course abruptly changed on
December 1, 1981, when he became a victim of a hit-and-run motor vehicle accident. He sustained a traumatic brain injury that left him in a coma for approximately a month. After emerging from the coma, he was left with extensive cognitive changes and weakness in all extremities. He received many weeks of rehabilitation at St. Paul Ramsey Medical Center (now Regions), and other rehabilitation facilities in the Twin Cities and in Redwing MN. Although he was unable to care for himself, he was able to live at home for the following 10 years, receiving care from family and
personal care attendants.

In 1995 he moved into a home that was built for him, so that he could receive care in a group home setting. It was one of the first such arrangements in the state at that time. He continued to reside in a group home until he passed away. Through the years, he received care from many, many personal care attendants and health care
professionals. Many of these personal care attendants became not only professional acquaintances, but truly friends.

Grant was a committed Christian, and enjoyed attending church services at Wooddale Church. He also loved to sing along to the worship songs on KTIS radio. He enjoyed “sick” jokes, trivia, “Wheel of Fortune”, Vikings football, and watching golf on TV.
His most recent pastime was watching “The Price Is Right”, and trying to beat the
contestants in that show’s “Showcase Showdown”.

Despite his disabilities, and many, many hospitalizations and surgeries, Grant persisted with a ready smile, a witty sense of humor, and words of gratitude for the kindness his caregivers showed to him.

Memorials preferred to KTIS Radio, Roseville MN.


  1. Linda Nelson says:

    I am so sorry for your family’s loss. I went to high school and Bible study with Roberta, and to Bethel with Grant. I’m sorry to say that I didn’t know him well, mostly as “Roberta’s brother,” but always admired his strength and grace despite the challenges that he faced. May God grant you His peace until you and Grant are reunited in His presence.

  2. Meg Olson says:

    Yes, Grant’s smile was contagious and made one happy to be with him. He was a special cousin and I’ll forever remember him calling me “Mugs”. Thoughts & prayers are with his dear family who loved & cared for him. God bless!

  3. Kathy Goheen says:

    Dear Mr Johnson and family, I’m saddened by the loss of your son and brother. Mr Johnson I remember you well from school and the credit union. You’re a lovely man and Grant was lucky to have you as his Dad. Gods blessings, Kathy Goheen

  4. Rick Cornell says:

    Dear Quentin, The Cornell family is sorry for your loss. My brothers Mike and Jerry and sister Barb all remember you as our favorite teacher and how you made 7th grade Math fun. Love Rick Cornell.

  5. Melody Lampman says:

    I am so sorry for your loss, my thoughts and prayers are with your family Becky. He is in a better place.

  6. Layton Hoof says:

    To the Johnson family, I’m sorry to hear about Grant. I had a great time being on the soccer team with him.

  7. mike jones says:

    To the Johnson family, I to am sorry for your loss of Grant. I too went to HS with Grant. Grant was obviously academically gifted, but an extreme nice classmate. I am grateful that you were able to use your faith to deal with unforeseen changes that took place in Grant’s life. I too had Mr. Johnson as my 7th grade Math teacher & think highly of Mr. John. (Too many math teachers on Elliot Ave:) RIP Grant. All the best to the Johnsons’.

  8. Tom Jones says:

    Grant did not know me, but I certainly remember him from Elliot Elementary, East Jr. High and Richfield High School. Grant was a low-key, pleasant guy who never acted like a show-off or a braggart, even though he had plenty of right to. From the sidelines, I could tell that Grant had an amazing wealth of intellect, motivation, and self-control. I could easily recognize all of those traits in him, despite having few if any of them myself at the time. In summary, Grant was one of the few guys in school who everyone respected, and wished they were more like him. My best wishes to Grant, and the rest of the Johnson family.

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