Karla Johnson

karla johnson
Karla Kay Johnson, age 54, passed away peacefully in her home surrounded by family on October 7th, 2016 after many years of kicking cancer’s butt. Karla was born on July 30, 1962 in Moorhead, MN, the daughter of Gerald and Dorothy (Arends) Swenson. Karla grew up in Gardner, ND and graduated from Hendrum High School in 1980. She furthered her education at St. Luke’s School of Nursing in Fargo, ND and graduated with a Registered Nursing degree. She worked in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at Sanford Hospital in Fargo for 35 years. She was extremely dedicated to all of the babies in her care and loved being surrounded by her work family. She was nominated for the Daisy Award and received the Guardian Angel award during her career. Karla was united in marriage to Gregory Neal Johnson on February 20, 1982 at St. John’s Catholic Church in Georgetown, MN and enjoyed 34 years of marriage, six children, and three grandchildren. She enjoyed attending and being involved in her children and grandchildren’s various activities, including dirt track racing, karting, volleyball, soccer, basketball, softball, wrestling, hockey, and gymnastics, along with various clubs. She also enjoyed her time with family at Long Lake and loved to lay out on the beach with a good book. The lights of her life were her three grandchildren, whom she enjoyed spoiling, giggling, and snuggling with. She is survived by her husband Greg, her six children Michael (Tara) Johnson, Moorhead, MN; Joshua Johnson, Fargo, ND; Marie (Travis) Roland, Fargo, ND; Kaitlyn (Nick Paulson) Johnson, Fargo, ND; Elizabeth Johnson and Grace Johnson, both of Harwood. Grandchildren: Brody and Brooke Johnson, and Addisyn Roland. She is also survived by her parents Gerald and Dorothy Swenson; brothers Bryan (Jenny) Swenson, Brad (Leah) Swenson, and numerous nieces and nephews, whom she enjoyed spending time with. She is now reunited with her younger brother Kevin in heaven. Memorials are preferred to be sent to Sanford Children’s Hospital and the Sanford Embrace Survivorship Program, both of Fargo.

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Memories Timeline


  1. Dorothy & Gerald,
    I was sadden to see Karla’s passing. My Prayers are with all of your family during this hard time.

  2. Kaitlyn,

    We’re praying for peace and comfort for you and the family as you miss your mom.

    Zac & Leah Paulson
    Izzy, Zeke, and Zoe

  3. Karla I am happy now that you are no longer in pain you brought so much happiness to so many people and your family. May you rest happily and your family celebrate your love of life.

  4. Dorothy,

    My deepest sympathies at hearing about Karla’s passing. May God Bless you and your family.


    Becky Larson (MeritCare/Sanford)

  5. May memories of Karla and the love of family surround you and give you strength in the days ahead.

    Don and Kaylee Woodbury
    Kolby and Kinsey Domier
    Nathan Coen

  6. Our thoughts and prayers are with the Johnson family. May God give you comfort and guide you thru this so very difficult time.
    Linda Kasowski and family

  7. Hugs to you Dorothy..
    A Mother holds her children’s hands for alittle while but their hearts forever. May it give you comfort knowing that others care…grateful that Karla had good parents…It’s evident her life mattered to many. Heaven is once again more Heavenly….
    Love and sympathy to all ,
    Margaret Hoffmann

  8. What a strong and amazing woman Karla was! I didn’t know her well, but I had the opportunity to watch her children in sports at Northern Cass. She has raised a wonderful family and her memory will live on in all of them. So sorry for your loss.

  9. We are so sorry for your loss. Karla will be missed by so many. She is now God’s Angel rocking all the babies in heaven. ❤️❤️❤️

  10. Words are so inadequate at a time like this, may the comfort of family and friends be your strength now and in the days ahead. I too worked in the NICU, as a unit clerk, and will always remember her beautiful smile. So sorry for your loss.

  11. Karla, you are being missed by so so many people! Beyond what your family could even know about. I am so happy you are pain free and will always admire your strength I saw before ever being diagnosed with cancer and definately after diagnosis. I enjoyed our nights at the NICU and outside of work. I will continue to pray for your family as they miss you so much.

  12. Karla took Kendal under her wing while in the NICU, as she did to so many other prescious babies. Her kindness and compassion for those babies was obvious. Karla will be missed by so many. Now rest Karla.

  13. So sorry for your loss. May you find peace in knowing that Karla is no longer in pain and she is rejoined with her brother, Kevin.

    My prayers and sympathy are with you all.

    Deanne (Thompson) Warner

  14. Love to the Johnson family.I am so sorry to hear of mom’s death. My heart goes out to each of you..remembering all of you in my classroom. What a special family…I’ll never forget you all and your talents and how close you were and always there for each other. Mom and dad were so proud. God bless each one of you…I love you and hope to see you soon.

  15. Working with you was an honor and a privilege. I will never forget your smile. Your laugh was contagious! May the good Lord and his Angels watch over your family and loved ones.

  16. Dear Greg and family,
    My deepest sympathies at your loss of a beautiful wife and mother.
    My heart weeps with yours. My God hold you in his loving arms and comfort each and everyone of you.

  17. Greg,
    I’m so sorry to hear about Karla’s passing. One life, and so many lives touched. Thinking of you and your family. Take care and enjoy the wonderful memories.

  18. Hi Greg. I’m so sorry to hear about Karla, and I hope you’re surrounded by love from your six children and grand children. Seeing them is a reminder of Karla, and that will keep her next to you for the rest of your life.

    I’d like to call, so if you feel up to it, please email.

    With deepest sympathy, Warren Lang

  19. To the “Swenson” familiy and friends,

    My condolences for your loss of a very sweet soul. May comfort find you during this time of loss and morning.

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