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Chapel of the Cross ~ Towner, North Dakota
Jon M. Stork - President / Licensed Director

Phone: 701.776.6381 ~ 701.537.5130
Fax: 701.776.5916
email: afhrugbytowner@gondtc.com


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LeRoy Johnson

LeRoy Johnson, 85, died Sunday, June 3, 2018, at HAMC in Rugby, ND. LeRoy was born April 5, 1933, in Bottineau, ND, to Lloyd and Margaret (Berg) Johnson.

He lived near Overly on the family farm and attended school in Overly and Willow City, where he graduated in 1951.  Immediately following graduation, he began farming with his dad. LeRoy was drafted into the Army in December, 1957, and served at Fort Huachuca, Arizona, until his honorable discharge as a SP4 E-4 in 1959.  On June 14, 1958, he married the love of his life, Muriel Engebrit in Rugby. God gifted LeRoy and Muriel four children: Jody, Scott, Cory, and Kipp. Following his discharge from the Army, LeRoy and Muriel returned to Kohlmeier Township near Rolette to farm. During this time, LeRoy also hauled hay and worked as a salesman for Buchl Implement. In 1967, LeRoy purchased the International Harvester dealership with partner, Andy Buchl, and renamed it Pierce Implement.  He sold the implement in May, 1980, when he began farming full-time with his sons. He continued to actively farm until 2017.

LeRoy served on numerous boards throughout his life as he believed that service to others was as important as hard work. The Rugby City Council, Rugby JDA, First Lutheran Church Council, Sons of Norway, Rugby American Legion Post, and the Rugby Eagles all benefited from his guidance through the years. LeRoy was a lifetime member of the Masons and Shriners. He loved driving his little Shriner car in all the parades around ND and Manitoba. LeRoy was a powerful advocate for water in North Dakota. He served as a director for the Garrison Diversion project from 1983-2010 and helped create the Pierce County Rural Water Project. Because of his tireless work, hundreds of farms and rural residences have access to healthy water in a four-county area. He received both the North Dakota Water Wheel Award in 2003 and the Clark Cronquist Waterline Award in 2009 for his service to rural water in North Dakota. 

LeRoy’s greatest joy was his wife and family. He loved calling his kids, grandkids, family, and friends on the phone to talk about the day, a deal, an event, a game, or just to check on each one. He spent hours following the grandkids’ activities, especially listening to and watching their sporting events. As his eyes began to weaken, he watched the games through the words of Carl Hauser on KZZJ, often sitting courtside with headphones. LeRoy enjoyed fishing; deer hunting, especially the social gathering; a Christmas Eve aquavit toast with family; listening to or watching the Twins and Vikings; telling stories; and farming beside his family. LeRoy’s senior quote in 1951 read: the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach, and he clearly believed that as he loved Muriel’s cooking.

LeRoy is survived by his wife of nearly sixty years, Muriel; his daughter, Jody (David) Rothschiller, Eagan, MN; his sons: Scott (Joni), Cory (Kayla), and Kipp (Leah), all Rugby; his grandchildren: Derek (Megan Ward), Jordan, and Brock Rothschiller, Helen, Anders, and Anna Johnson, Isaiah and Annika Johnson; brothers: Ed (Dana), Towner, ND, and Robert L. (JoAnn), Rugby; sister: Marilyn Polk, Bismarck; sister-in-law, Marlys Sollin, Devils Lake; and numerous nieces, nephews, and extended family. He was preceded in death by his grandparents; his parents; a brother, Donald; sisters, Carol Johnson and Shirley Walker; brothers-in-law, Dan Polk, Warren Walker, Gary Sollin, Don Vetsch, and Orvin Engebrit; and sister-in-law, DonaLou Vetsch.

Funeral services will be held at 11:00 a.m. Thursday, June 7th at the First Lutheran Church in Rugby with burial in the Persilla Watts Cemetery, Rugby.  Pastor Mike Pretzer, officiating.

The Military Honors Accorded by: Clarence Larson American Legion Post #23 Honor and Color Guard, Rugby, ND and North Dakota Military Funeral Honors Detail

Visitation will be from 5:00 to 7:00 p.m. Wednesday at the Anderson Funeral Home in Rugby with a prayer service and sharing of memories beginning at 7:00 p.m.  Visitation will continue at the church for one hour prior to the time of services.

Posted Condolences:

Muriel:  I send my most sincere sympathy to,you and your family.  May God hold you in the palm of his hand during this trying time for you.   God bless all your wonderful memories.
Wanda blessum Ohly

Our condolences to the Johnson family. I enjoyed the occasional visit with Leroy while visiting the Wyatt's.
Curt Zimmerman

Johnson family, we are so sorry to hear of Leroy's passing.
For the past 33 years I had the pleasure of working with him and he was always so pleasant.  We had many go chats.  
May he rest in peace.  He will be missed by many!!
Take care and God Bless all of you through this time of mourning.
Leanne & Gerold Pfeifer

So sorry to see the passing of Leroy. I always enjoyed visiting with Leroy and sharing his humor.  He enjoyed life and wanted to make a difference in the lives of others. He will truly be missed but all the great memories will help us today and the days ahead. We celebrate his life and are real happy to have been a part of it.  May God give you peace, strength, and comfort.
Curtiss Mundahl

Muriel & Family: We were sadden to learn of LeRoys passing. Our sympathy to your family. When ever I would see LeRoy whether it was in Minot or Rugby, we always had a nice chat. We will not be able to be at the funeral as we are leaving for the Dakota State Eagles Convention in Vermillion, SD. Bless be LeRoy memory. Take care and remember the lord is with you.
Jim & Delores Sollin - Bismarck, ND

Muriel and family:  The Bernhardts are so sorry to hear of the loss of a great man and your loving husband.  Memories of our 20 years living as neighbors has flooded our minds the last few days.  He was a great neighbor always helping out and looking after us with an occasional visit driving across on is lawnmower.  He always had a good story to tell us.  Our prayers and and condolences to you and your family.
Brenda Bernhardt

What an amazing guy....so sorry for your Loss! 
Barbara E Merrick (Marchand)



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