Clifford “Kip” Johnson

Monday, July 27, 2015 7:56 pm

Clifford “Kip” Johnson, 70, of Decorah, died Tuesday, July 21, 2015, at his home in Decorah. Services were at 11 a.m. Monday, July 27, in the Center for Faith and Life at Luther College Decorah, with Rev. Dave Sorenson officiating. Organist was Kathy Murray. Soloist was Mary Arneson (“How Great Thou Art”). Recessional music was “My Way” Frank Sinatra. Honorary pallbearers were Gaylon Carmack, Cal Birch, David Thompson, Jerry Engen, Erik Drievold, George Kakos, Dennis Koepp, Gary Drievold and Ronnie Goodyear.
Clifford “Kip” Alan Johnson was born Dec. 22, 1944, the only child of Clifford Alfred Johnson and Mildred Ophelia (Nelson) Johnson in Decorah. Kip graduated from Decorah High School in 1963. He then attended Luther College, but left after a year to focus on his primary love, Diane “Dee” Gene Caviness. Kip and Dee were married April 17, 1965, in Caledonia, Minn. Together they had four children: Christine April, Jennifer Hope, Chad Harrison and Stephanie Nadine. Kip drove truck for 50 years, the first 30 alongside his dad. Kip and Dee owned three different bars in Decorah over the years: Kip and Dee’s, JJ’s, and then the Tap Room until 1988. He also worked for Wapsie Produce for more than 25 years. Kip constantly sought out income projects to provide the best life for his family.  
Kip had many different hobbies including fishing, camping, golfing, doing crossword puzzles from the New York Times and making lists. He was a die-hard Cubs and Bears fan, enjoyed gardening and landscaping around his house and was an avid history buff. And though he hadn’t gone too much in recent years, he enjoyed going on group trips with friends to places like Chicago, Las Vegas and Canada. Kip was very witty and was known for being a jokester and playing pranks on people. He enjoyed nothing more than a good laugh. Most of all, Kip loved being with his family vacationing, celebrating holidays, special events and birthdays and just gathering on random weekends for fish fries.    
Kip is survived by his wife, Diane “Dee” Johnson, Decorah; four children: Christine (Duane Schacht) Johnson, Decorah; Jennifer (Marty Faldet) Johnson, Calmar; Chad Johnson, Decorah; and Stephanie (Andrew Nesset) Johnson, Decorah; five grandchildren: Nathan (Ari Maquina Rios) Maloney, Mac Faldet, Noah Faldet, Rjis Nesset and Alexandra Nessetne; aunt, Beverly Hanson, Sauk City, Wis.; and one uncle, Mike (Rosalyn) Dietz, Waterloo; Kip’s brothers- and sisters-in-law: Donald and Kathy Caviness, Knoxville; Margaret Caviness, Oakville; Myrna Newcomb, Decorah; Trudy and Mark Sheetz, Sigourney; Rita and Jim Erickson, Paynesville, Minn.; Tim Caviness, Oakville; Judy and Dennis Sobaski, Fairfield,; Sheila and Rick Peck, Fairfield; along with several nieces, nephews and great-nieces and -nephews. Kip also is survived by several special friends that include Marlene Throndson, Decorah, and Stephanie “Back-up” Burroughs, Decorah.
Kip was preceded in death by his parents, Clifford Alfred and Mildred Ophelia (Nelson) Johnson; his granddaughter, Brittney Johnson Schacht, Feb. 24, 1984; his grandparents, Dale and Jean Dietz and Sanford Johnson; uncle, Charles Johnson; sister-in-law, Linda Liles; father- and mother-in-law, Donald and Winifred (Ancell) Caviness.


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