Johnsons retire from bussing business after 38 years in Watertown

Johnson Bus
Johnson Bus Company has served the Watertown-Mayer School District for the last 38 years, but Neil and Susan Johnson announced recently that they are retiring. The remainder of their contract with the district will be assumed by Koch Bus Company of Waconia, although the Johnson’s will continue to be involved from time to time. (Staff photo by Matt Bunke)

Retirement, Neil Johnson says, is something that always sounds like such an easy decision to make.

 But after he and his wife Susan — owners of Johnson Bus Company in Watertown — decided recently to retire from the business after 38 years, it didn’t take long for them to realize that there is nothing easy about it. In fact, after pondering the decision for months on end, Neil Johnson said the decision to step aside is the hardest decision he’s ever made.

“It’s just hard to give up something you’ve been managing for so long,” said Johnson, who is turning over the remaining three years on his contract with the Watertown-Mayer school district to Koch Bus Service in Waconia. “It’s just the idea that you’ve spent your whole life working with the school district and developing a really good transportation system and a safe plan, and to one day realize you’re going to wake up and you won’t have anything to do with it anymore, it’s just a real difficult decision to make. It’s a big change in a person’s life.”

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