Robert Clifford ‘BJ’ Johnson
1948 – 2019
Johnson, Robert Clifford (BJ) was born on July 16, 1948, in Alexandria, Minnesota to parents Ruth Fowlds Johnson and Clifford Conrad Johnson. With his family at his side, he died on October 16th, 2019 in Northfield, Minnesota, with his family at his side after living with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis(ALS). BJ graduated from Jefferson High School in 1966 and continued his education at Concordia College in Moorhead. Upon graduation in 1971 he married Sigrid Nelson in Bismarck, North Dakota. Together they moved to Monticello, Minne-sota, where he taught public school music while Sigrid pursued a Bachelor of Music degree at St. Cloud State University.
In 1978, BJ was hired by St. Olaf College in Northfield, Minnesota, to manage the college’s music organizations. His office was responsible for arranging domestic and international tours and facilitating the technical production of the internationally renowned St. Olaf Christmas Festival, which has been a featured highlight of the holiday season on PBS since 1983 because of BJ’s collaborative efforts with Twin Cities Public Television. He was a member of the Alexandria School District Hall of Fame and received a lifetime achievement award from the American Choral Directors Association, as well as an Emmy Award for his role in the PBS production of Christmas in Norway with the St. Olaf Choir.
Johnson is survived by his wife of 48 years, Sigrid (Nelson) Johnson, sons Peter and Andrew (Sarah) and grandsons Soren and Halvor, all of whom reside in the Twin Cities. He is also survived by his sister Karen. He was preceded in death by his parents and sister Jane Huhn. A memorial service was held at Boe Memorial Chapel, Sunday, October 27th at 2:00 pm.