Johan A. Asleson (1918 - 2009)

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Johan Arnold Asleson, 91, died on Tuesday, Sept. 15, 2009, from complications of Alzheimer's disease.

He was born on Sept. 13, 1918, in rural Wisconsin to Norwegian parents Jacob and Clara Asleson. The youngest of four children, Joe graduated from Stoughton High School in 1936, and received his bachelor's degree from University of Wisconsin in 1942.

He entered the military and served as a U.S. Navy flight instructor for the duration of World War II. During his tour, he wed Barbara Amble on Oct. 12, 1943, in Stoughton. Upon discharge, he returned to the University of Wisconsin, acquiring a master's degree in 1947. He accepted a teaching and research position at Montana State College, and Johan and Barbara moved to Bozeman later that year.

Joe and Barbara celebrated the birth of a son in 1951, followed by daughters in 1953 and 1956. He was promoted to assistant to the director of Montana agricultural experiment stations in 1954. He soon returned to the University of Wisconsin and earned his Ph.D. in soils in 1957. After five years of service as assistant and associate director, Joe was named director of Montana agricultural experiment station(s) in 1962 and dean of Montana State University College of Agriculture in 1965, a position he enjoyed until his retirement in 1980. He was honored as professor emeritus by the university in 1981. His many professional and honorary associations included Sigma Xi, American Association for Advancement of Science, Phi Kappa Phi, and Alpha Zeta.

Joe's civic activities included Alpha Gamma Rho Fraternity, Bozeman Rotary Club, Sons of Norway, and the East Trail Creek Exploration and Hunting Society. He was a longtime active member of Hope Lutheran Church and was a director of Life of Montana insurance company.

He enjoyed hunting and fishing, golf, bowling, yard work and, especially, his rose gardens, as well as his work as a volunteer at the hospital and with the Red Cross.

Joe was preceded in death by his brother, Obert Asleson; and his two sisters, Synova Asleson Daugherty and Elie Asleson.

He is survived by Barbara, his wife of 65 years, his son Stephen and daughter Carol of Bozeman; and his daughter, JoAnn of Tracy, Calif. His grandchildren include William Bennett and his wife, Angela of Pittsburgh, Pa., and Senior Airman Johan Riley of Minot Air Force Base, N.D. His great-granddaughter is Sofia Bennett of Pittsburgh, Pa.

Cremation has taken place. A memorial service will be held at 3 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 4, at Hope Lutheran Church, 2152 Graf St., Bozeman.

In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations be made to Alzheimer's Foundation of America (; to the Hope Lutheran Church General Fund; or to a charity of the donor's choice.

Arrangements are in the care of Dokken-Nelson Funeral Service;
Funeral Home
Dokken-Nelson Funeral Service
113 South Willson Avenue
Bozeman, MT 59715
(406) 587-3184
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Published in Bozeman Daily Chronicle on Sept. 27, 2009
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