Paul Richard Johnson, 97, died Saturday, Oct. 3, 2020, at his home in Columbia.

Paul was born June 13, 1923, in Cherokee, Iowa, to parents Eric and Elsie Johnson. He graduated high school in 1941 in Cleghorn, Iowa, moving on to study music at Morningside College for a brief period. He ended up receiving a dairy management certificate at Iowa State University.

During his studies, he met the love of his life, Audrey Andreasen. He followed Audrey to San Francisco, California, where she was teaching at the time. Their love was undeniable, and they married June 10, 1944.

Before starting their family, they moved back to Mount Ayr, Iowa, and purchased a dairy place there. They completed their family with a daughter, Linda, and a son, Stephen. Paul ran the dairy for nine years before switching occupations to develop a successful career in the insurance business in Springfield, Missouri, later retiring in 1998.

Paul and Audrey were happily married for 60 years until Audrey’s passing in late 2004. Paul moved to Columbia in 2009 and spent five years at the Terrace Retirement Community, where he made a lot of friends.

Paul liked to share life experiences with as many people as he could. He was active in many communities, serving as a school board president and an art museum board president, holding leadership roles in his church and working as a mentor helping troubled teens. Traveling, dancing, singing, golfing and playing cribbage were a few of the hobbies he loved most.

He is survived by his son Stephen (Megan) Johnson of Columbia; daughter Linda (David) Umbarger of Omaha, Nebraska; five grandchildren, Stephanie Marksz, Julie Oelke, Brian Umbarger, Caelum Johnson and Dane Johnson; and five great-grandchildren, Alyssa Marksz, Taylor Marksz, Nolan Oelke, Delaney Umbarger and Emmett Johnson.

Paul was preceded in death by his wife, Audrey Johnson; parents Eric and Elsie Johnson; and siblings Mildred, Melvin and Wilber.

A service will be held on a future date at Trinity Presbyterian Church in Columbia.

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