John Johnsen's 10-year care for his wife never wavered


“The Captain,” John J. Johnsen Jr., 74, of Rockton, IL, had a 40 year career working for AT&T and its successors. He was an incredible craftsman who could build anything.

John passed away on October 26, 2022, surrounded by his loving family. 

John was born on June 23, 1948, in Moline IL, the son of John J. and Helen (Rohrer) Johnsen Sr. He was a proud E-Rab, graduating from Rockford East High School in 1967. He served in the U.S. Navy onboard the USS Decatur during the Vietnam War. 

John was a league bowler with several 300 games. As a spectator, he had a love/hate relationship with the Chicago Bears and Cubs. His love for fishing in Canada began at an early age and he felt everyone needed to experience this trip. This led to annual “guy trips” including his best friends and family. He loved the Great Outdoors and vacationed in Hayward, WI with his family. 

He and his wife Joyce frequently flew out to enjoy Las Vegas. They were avid antique collectors and spent many weekends finding their treasures. He was legendary for his storytelling and crude jokes. 

Over the last 10 years, his love and devotion for his wife of 45 years, Joyce E. (Wicklund) Johnsen, who was battling dementia, has gone unmatched. His care for her never wavered, even while he battled cancer and other health issues. She survived him by two weeks. His impact is felt by many who will cherish his memory.

John is survived by his daughters, Melissa (John) Hogan and Carrie (Jon) Priest; stepsons, Todd (Rachael) Reese and Chris (Kristin) Reese; grandchildren, Jared, Ben, Matthew, Reagan, Noah, Emmery, Ava, Alivia, Lyla, Briea and Harrison; sister and brother in law, Suanne (Larry) Davidson and nephews Jordan, Kyle and Chad. 

He was preceded in death by his parents; stepfather Dean Robertson; brother-in-law John R. Markuson, and best friend and brother-in-law Jim Easton.

Special thanks to the staff at Anam Care and United Hospice.

A celebration of life will be planned for a later date. Memorials in John’s name may be made to Alzheimer’s Association or Vietnam Veterans of America

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