Leland K. Johnson, 91, of Van Buren, died Wednesday, October 2, 2013 in Van Buren. He was born September 9, 1922 in Todd County, MN to the late Casper and Gudrun Johnson. He was a retired Senior Chief Petty Officer with the U.S. Navy. In his 27 years, he served on the USS Tulsa, USS McKean, USS McDougal, USS Hamul, and the USS Walker; and was awarded the Unit Emblem for service in defense of the Philippines between December 7, 1941 through April 9, 1942. While serving on the USS Tulsa, he was awarded the Bronze Star of Valor, and medals for Asiatic Pacific, Philippine Defense, Philippine Liberation, Japanese Occupation, American Defense, Korean Service, China Service, United Nations, and awarded the National Defense and Good Conduct medal eight times. He loved his country dearly. He attended St. Michael's Catholic Church. He was preceded in death by his wife, Peggy Johnson; a son, Kevin Johnson; and a sister, Helen Potepan. Leland was a special man and will be dearly missed.
He is survived by two daughters, Stephyne Rupp of Crawford County, and Rosa Emberton and husband Allen of Van Buren; and a sister, Carolyn Doleshal of Arcadia, CA.
Graveside memorial service will be 2:00 p.m. Monday, October 7, 2013 at the Fort Smith National Cemetery with Military Honors, under the direction of Edwards Van-Alma Funeral Home of Van Buren.