The funeral for longtime Bennington Police Chief Lester "Les" Johnson will be Monday.

Flags in Bennington were lowered to half staff Wednesday as the Douglas County town mourned Johnson's death.

Johnson, 51, died Tuesday night, Bennington Mayor Matt John said. In June, Johnson was off duty when he sustained head injuries in a fall at a Waterloo storage unit.

“He had not yet been able to return to duty,” John said.

Funeral services have been scheduled for 10:30 a.m. Monday at Sinai Lutheran Church in Fremont. Visitation will be noon to 7 p.m. Sunday at Reichmuth Funeral Home at 21901 West Maple Road, with family receiving friends from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m.

Gordon Mueller, a former mayor of Bennington, called Johnson’s death a great loss for the community. Mueller worked with Johnson for four years as mayor and two years as a City Council member.

“I never saw him mad or angry,” Mueller said. “He was a steady hand, and you need that in a police chief.

“Les was an extremely kind and thoughtful person,” he said. “We’re a family here, and with his passing, it hurts us to the core.”

Johnson started with Bennington as a part-time officer in 1992. He was promoted to chief of police in 2004, John said. The Bennington police department’s website says it has two full-time officers, four part-time officers and three reserve officers.

Survivors include his wife, Alice Ann of Waterloo; daughters Paxton and Hannah of Waterloo; and sister Doris Barrett of McKinney, Texas.

Memorials are suggested to his children's education fund.

Kevin Cole covers Omaha crime and public safety news. Follow him on Twitter @KevinColeOmaha. Phone: 402-444-1272.

Commenting is limited to Omaha World-Herald subscribers. To sign up, click here.

If you're already a subscriber and need to activate your access or log in, click here.

Recommended for you

Load comments

You must be a full digital subscriber to read this article You must be a digital subscriber to view this article.