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Obituary for Steven B. "Pete" Johnson

Steven Bernard "Pete" Johnson, 69, of Holmen passed away peacefully on Friday, October 16th, at Gunderson Lutheran Medical Center in La Crosse with his beloved daughters by his side. Steve was born February 8, 1951 to Bernard and LaVerne Johnson, the second of 4 children. In his childhood years, he attended the one room Maple Shade schoolhouse then Holmen High School, graduating in the class of 1969. He was an active member of the FFA and Maple Shade 4-H Club. His love of farming was cultivated by the Halfway Creek community of farmers who taught him that hard work and friendship were two of the most important parts of life. He also developed a love for all things motorized on his time on the farm. It was during his high school years that his friends dubbed him "Peter", a nickname which would stick with him throughout his life. Peter worked at the Farmer's Co-op in West Salem during high school and into early adulthood then as a railroad brakeman for a short time. After graduation, he attended UW-River Falls where he studied Agriculture. While in college, he met Gaye Klinzing and they moved to Holmen and were married on November 13, 1971 at Halfway Creek Lutheran Church where he had also been baptized and confirmed. After Steve and Gaye were married he was hired by Niedfeldt Trucking in La Crosse. His early dedication and commitment to hard work led to him later co-owning the business from 1973 until 2000. In 1995 he established American Warehousing & Distribution which has grown into the success he had envisioned years ago. Pete lived his life with the motto 'work hard, play harder' and no one did it better. His love of all things driving and machinery resulted in earning his pilot's license as well as a deep passion for truck and tractor pulling. Starting with entering into local truck pulls in the late 70's. His love of the sport led him to pulling 2 versions of 'The Wild Hare' modified pulling tractor from 1980 through 1991. During this time, he traveled with his family throughout the state of Wisconsin on the WTPA circuit as well as nationally with the NTPA. He would win several state and national titles. In addition to competing, he held several WTPA board positions including Association President and a position as an NTPA director. His love for speed and driving also led to favorites past times such as snowmobiling and motor cycle riding. He was an active member and officer with the Coulee Comets Snowmobile Club where he earned the nickname 'one-way Johnson'. He was a dedicated and active 'brother' of Der Ferkel Club for nearly 40 years where he held several positions including Club President. Any activity that would give him the opportunity to visit with friends and family were his favorites and was known for his open door policy to those that knew him best. He especially looked forward to fishing trips to northern Wisconsin and into Canada over the years with over 50 different 'fishing friends'. The annual deer hunting season also provided more opportunity for good times with good friends and good stories! Pete's one liner's, belly laughs, and smile were always infectious. Later in life, his main focus was on his family. His four grandchildren meant everything to him and he did his best to spend as much time as he could with them despite his failing health. Watching the grandkids do just about anything made his day and he taught his grandchildren (as he did with his daughters) to drive anything with wheels. He lived a life of hard work and no regrets. We can only imagine that his only regret would be not being able to vote in the 2020 election. MAGA. Steve is survived by his wife of nearly 49 years, Gaye; daughters Ginny (Eric) Lewison, Cary (Tom) Zimmerman and Sara (Bryan Olsen) Johnson; grandchildren Paige Lewison, Paityn Lewison, Jon Olsen and Shea Zimmerman; brother Scott (Diana) Johnson, sister Diane Jostad and many, many nieces, nephews, sisters-in-law and brothers-in-law. He is preceded in death by his parents, a brother Gary Johnson and a niece Rebecca Jostad; brother-in-law Paul Jostad and sister-in-law Karen Johnson. Visitation will be held on Friday, October 23 from 10am -12:30pm at der Ferkle Barn, N7395 County Road W, Holmen. A service will follow at 1pm with Pastor Carol Garman officiating. Interment will be in the Halfway Creek Cemetery. Masks and appropriate social distancing are appreciated. A celebration of life will follow at der Ferkle Barn. Jandt-Fredrickson Funeral Home is assisting the family with arrangements. "The family would like to thank the Carbone Cancer Center at UW-Madsion and the Hemotology Department at Gundersen Health of La Crosse and particularly Dr. Wayne Bottner. Memorials will be directed to these two fine institutions."