James Edward Johnson was born April 17, 1937, at Mitchell, to Clearence “Cy” and Cecilia “Cec” (Rozum) Johnson. He graduated from Notre Dame High School in Mitchell in 1955 and attended the University of Montana and South Dakota State University. He was a commercial fisherman, bush pilot and hunting guide in Alaska for many years. On July 16, 1967, he married Dee Saukerson at Sand Lake, Alaska. They returned to Mitchell in 1970 and he was an area crop sprayer for nearly thirty years.
He is survived by his wife, Dee; one daughter, Tina Reaves of Sioux Falls, SD; one granddaughter, Taylor Reaves of St. Paul, MN; one brother, Tony (Norma) Johnson of Captain Cook, HI; a sister, Kay Chambers of Seal Beach, CA; and his companion and hunting dog, Boots.