Obituary: Gerald B. “Jerry” Johnson




Jerry Johnson of Richfield, Minnesota, died October 30, 2008 after an eight-month illness. He was 76.

Jerry grew up on a farm in Forest Lake, MN, and began studying magic at age eleven.  He built many of his tricks and wrote his own patter which resulted in his unique style of comedy stage magic.  He began performing as a young teenager and continued to do shows until his retirement in 1997.  He was known for his original moves, quick wit, and humor.

After graduating from Forest Lake High School, he attended Macalester College in Saint Paul, MN for two years before being drafted into the Army.  He was stationed at Fort Campbell, Kentucky where he played the trumpet in the 74th Army Band and performed magic in shows for Special Services.  He graduated from the University of Minnesota in 1958 with a degree in education.  The family moved to San Diego, California where, for two years, Jerry taught English and Speech at La Jolla Jr. Sr. High School.  He then took a job with Retail Credit Company as insurance inspector, was able to transfer to Minneapolis, and work a total of twenty two years.  In 1983 he returned to education and worked with computers in a special education school district until he retired.

During his years in San Diego and later in Minneapolis, he belonged to the SAM and IBM, holding offices in both organizations.  He won the Silver Medal for stage magic at the 1983 SAM Convention, and in 2000 he won the First Place Award for Comedy Magic at the Houdini Club of Wisconsin. 

Jerry is survived by his wife of 55 years Connie; four daughters: Pam, Ann, Leslie, and Kim; and two grandsons: Phillip Morley and Leo Plumer.


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