LaVern (Vern) Johnson was born January 2, 1925 in White Earth, North Dakota. His family moved to Williston, North Dakota in 1931 when Vern was 6. He attended Williston schools and graduated from Williston High School in 1944. While attending high school, he worked for a couple of the local businesses delivering papers for the local newspaper and for a local drug store.
During his senior year of high school, he acquired acute rheumatoid arthritis and was classified 4-F by the army. He decided that if the army wouldn’t take him he would work at a defense plant. After graduating from high school, he went west to Spokane and worked for a time at Alcoa (Aluminum Company of America). He then went to work for the Spokane Air Depot. He had a chance to transfer to Hickum Field in Honolulu, Hawaii and worked there until they laid off a large group in 1947 after the war.
In 1947, he came to Minneapolis to take treatments for his arthritis. He applied for a job with George A. Clark and Son, a wholesale hardware house and began work in January 1948 where he was employed for 34 years until February 1982 when they went out of business during the recession.
He later was employed by Dave Douglas, the Wright County Auditor. After a year, he transferred to the motor vehicle office where he was lead clerk until his retirement in 1990. He then moved to Montrose where he resided until moving to the Park View Care Center in Buffalo until his death.
He was a member of Bethlehem United Church of Christ in Maple Lake.
Vern was the youngest of eleven children of Peter G. and Clara P. Johnson. He was preceded in death by his father and mother, one brother, and eight sisters. Survivors are sister-in-law Maggie Derrough (Thomas Johnson) of Iowa and 9 nephews and nieces.
A memorial service will be held at Bethlehem United Church of Christ in Maple Lake on Wednesday, January 25 at 11:00 am followed by potluck luncheon. Bethlehem UCC is located on County Road 37 on the north side of Maple Lake High School.