James Benjamin Johnson was born Jan. 4, 1917, in Dalton, Neb., to Thomas Jefferson Johnson and Myrtle Belle (Jordon) Johnson. James grew up in Holden, Missouri along with his sister, Frances (Snelson) and brother Ralph.
In 1934 the prospect of good hunting and fishing prompted James to leave Missouri and make his home in northwestern Iowa. He settled in Lake Park and was employed at the newspaper office. Printing was to become his lifelong career taking him to several other newspapers including the Spencer Daily Reporter where he also worked as a photographer. He was later employed by Lakes Printing in Spirit Lake and retired in 1981.
On Nov. 17, 1939 James married Marjorie Adkins of Laurens. The couple lived in Albert City, LeMars and Spencer following James employment. They built a permanent home at East Lake Okoboji in 1958. Upon retirement the couple spent winters in Weslaco, Texas. In 1996 they moved to Spencer where they lived year-round. Marjorie passed away in 1998 and James moved to Northshire Residence Home in the spring of 2008.
He is survived by his children: Marilyn Carlson and her husband, Dan, of Wolf Lake, Ind., and Tom Johnson and his wife, Marie, of Spencer, Iowa; grandchildren: Erin Lemish and her husband, Mike of Denton, Texas, Daniel Carlson and his wife, Megan, of Denton, Texas, Michal Rogers and her husband, Kyle, of Fairbanks, Alaska, Heather Dean and her husband, Mike, of Ankeny, Iowa and Jessica Johnson of Ames, Iowa; great grandchildren; Morgan, Cooper and Zoe Lemish, Kiersten and Corbin Carlson, Ethan Dean and Olivia Rogers; sister, Frances Snelson of Springfield, Mo.; and sister-in-law, Marguerite Johnson of Storm Lake, Iowa.
James was preceded in death by his parents, Thomas and Myrtle Johnson; his wife, Marjorie; and his brother, Ralph Johnson.