His family led group home work
Stephen Lawrence Johnson’s parents saw a need for housing for people with disabilities, and helped found Hiawatha Homes in the Rochester area. Johnson died at home recently of natural causes. He was 55 and lived in Rochester.
The son of Janet and Larry Johnson, Stephen was born with several disabilities. His parents were motivated to work with three other families and area organizations to found Hiawatha Homes, to provide housing for people with special needs. Steve was one of the first residents and lived in various Hiawatha Homes for 46 years.
He participated in a number of physical activities at PossAbilities, outings to sporting events and Hiawatha staff softball games. He attended the Winnebago youth camp for several years and greatly enjoyed riding an adult tricycle in summer months. He also loved listening to country-western music.
He is survived by his parents, brothers and their families, and aunts and an uncle. Services have been held. Memorials go to Hiawatha Homes Foundation, PossAbilities or ARC Minnesota Southeast Region.
He worked on Minnesota Relay
Jim Alan Schroedermeier transitioned from a successful broadcast career to working on the Minnesota Relay Service. Schroedermeier died this fall. He was 66 and lived in St. Paul.
Minnesota Relay is a free, federally mandated Telecommunications Relay Services program that allows individuals who are deaf, deafblind, hard of hearing or have speech disabilities to place and receive telephone calls.
Schroedermeier won awards as a broadcast journalist for local and national stations, including work at KYMN in Northfield and WJON in St. Cloud.
He spent 12 years as a public policy planner and strategist for the Minnesota Department of Public Service. As assistant commissioner for telecommunications, he put contracts, buildings, and personnel in place to run the Minnesota Relay. He retired from state government and enjoyed the great outdoors.
He is survived by his mother, sisters and their families. Services have been held. Memorials preferred to Union Gospel Mission or donor’s choice.