John O. Bohmer, age 101, of Brooten, MN and Palm Bay, FL, died Wednesday, September 7, 2022, at his Palm Bay, FL residence under the care of hospice and with his family by his side. A memorial service will be held on Monday, September 26th at 11:00 A.M. at Trinity Lutheran Church in Brooten, with Pastor Jean Megorden officiating. Visitation will be AT THE CHURCH in Brooten on Sunday, September 25th from 2:00 P.M. until 5:00 P.M. and will resume there on Monday beginning at 10:00 A.M. and running until the time of service. For those unable to personally attend, Monday's memorial service will be livestreamed on the Church's Facebook page. Inurnment will be in Trinity Lutheran Cemetery in Brooten. Arrangements are with Hoplin-Hitchcock Funeral Home of Brooten.
John O. Bohmer was born in Brooten, Minnesota on June 17, 1921, the only child of Quirin and Wilma (Olson) Bohmer. He died peacefully in his sleep at his home in Palm Bay, Florida on September 7, 2022 at the age of 101. He leaves behind his wife, Leona “Nona” (née Demoruelle-Brady) Bohmer, daughter, Theresa Headley, son-in-law, Bob McDonald, grandson, Joe (Scarlett) Headley, granddaughter, Alexandria Hiebl (Larry Nelson), and great-grandchildren, Max Hiebl, Preston Headley and Elora Headley; as well as many cousins. He was preceded in death by his first wife, Joyce Bohmer; his grandparents, John and Bernadine Bohmer; his parents, Quirin and Wilma Bohmer; and his two sons, Donald and Owen Bohmer.
John’s long life was filled with so many adventures and accomplishments that it is impossible to list them on one page. Many people talk about traveling, starting new businesses, building buildings, or promoting communities: John actually did these things. He had a passion for flying small airplanes and had many adventures with them – he had the heart of a bush pilot! He was instrumental in developing the Brooten Airport/John O. Bohmer Field and donated money for the new arrival departure building. John built two homes and a cottage (largely with his own hands), a bank, an auto museum for his collection of antique and classic automobiles, two airplane hangars, and restored two downtown buildings. He loved hunting and fishing with many trips to Canada and northern Minnesota with Joyce. He was never happy that Joyce usually caught more, and larger, fish than he did. He and his second wife, Nona, spent a number of years traveling throughout the USA and internationally.
John had a passion for promoting Brooten. Every time his cousin, Dave Bohmer, went to Florida to see him, John would bring Dave into his office to discuss how to make Brooten more successful. He was still focused on finding a way to add more housing a month before his death.
John never sat still for long and led a long, and fulfilling, life of 101 years. All his friends will miss him and he leaves a long legacy behind. Followers of “Bank Notes” will recognize that he wrote the following obituary for himself. WHAT A GUY: . . . . Right John?
I won’t be checking my E-mail anymore, and I always said I didn’t mind dying as long as I wasn’t there when it happened, but God had his ideas, so here I am in my new home, arriving peacefully, after departing from my home in the presence of my family. I have gone on to join my two sons, Donald and Owen, and my wonderful wife, Joyce, in the great life hereafter. Also, my parents Quirin and Wilma, and my grandparents John and Dena Bohmer, those wonderful people who raised me after my mother died. I will greatly miss my daughter, Theresa, and my grandchildren, Joey and Sascha, and of course my “great” great-grandchildren Max, Preston and Elora. Due to my great age, most of my good friends have gone and will be waiting for me, and I will miss my many good friends that I leave behind. I will greatly miss my friend and cousin David Bohmer and his family and, of course, my wonderful wife, Nona.
I was born, raised, and lived in Brooten all my life except for a couple of years in the Army during WWII serving in the Pacific area in General MacArthur’s headquarters. Working career? I worked for the Soo Line Railroad as depot agent and telegraph operator until I was called into the army, then worked at the State Bank of Brooten from 1946 for 54 years, 46 years as President until I retired on January 1, 2000 and remained as Chairman of the Board of Directors. I have devoted years making Brooten Great Again. One of the greatest was development of irrigation in our Bonanza Valley giving a very large boost to our economy.
I have written books about many local current and historical subjects, of my Classic Car collection hobby, and have written my weekly Bank Notes column since 1952. I have been a member of many organizations. Member of many Board of Directors, a member of the American Legion for more than 70 years and a lifetime member of Trinity Lutheran Church. My lovely second wife, Leona (Nona) has been a very helpful companion.
My hobby: I have been an avid car collector for 65 years and have accumulated some very important and outstanding cars which will be passed on to my heirs for their enjoyment. We have traveled extensively on tours, flying our Bonanza airplane and driving our motor home all over the North American continent and have been snowbirds living between Lake Scandi and our winter home in Palm Bay Florida each year since 2001.
I knew the party must end eventually and I have always enjoyed my life and believe life should not be a journey to the grave in an attractive well preserved body, but to skid in sideways, my body thoroughly used up, totally worn out screaming, “Woo Hoo, what a ride!”
I always like to see the humorous side of things, and you know what? Given a chance I would do it all over again. So long good friends, and may the good Lord take a liking to you and me too. God Bless.
- John O. Bohmer
Memorials in memory of John O. Bohmer may be directed to: Brooten Community Foundation, P O Box 400, Brooten, MN 56316.
Brooten Community Foundation
P O Box 400, Brooten MN 56316