September 11, 1934 ~ January 3, 2011
LaDon Jerome Johnson, 76, Fargo, passed away Monday, January 3 in Bethany Retirement Living, Fargo.
LaDon was born September 11, 1934 to Victor and Johanna (Selness) Johnson in rural Grandin, ND, where he grew up on the family farm and graduated from Hendrum High School (MN) in 1951. He then earned his B.S. Degree in Animal Husbandry (1956) and M.S. Degree in Animal Science (1957), both from NDSU. LaDon served in the U.S. Army in Germany from 1957 to 1959. He earned his Ph.D. in Animal Science from Ohio State University in 1965.
During his college years, LaDon was a charter member and the first president of the NDSU Farm House Fraternity. He was also a member of the National Honor Society, "Who's Who" in American Colleges, and several other fraternities, including Alpha Zeta. LaDon was a long time member of Toastmasters, which is also where he met his wife, Patricia.
LaDon worked as an assistant county extension agent in LaMoure County before landing his "dream job" at NDSU where he worked as an animal nutritionist with the Extension Service, retiring in 1995 as Professor Emeritus. LaDon participated on numerous livestock judging teams. He received many awards at NDSU, culminating in his North Dakota Agricultural Hall of Fame induction in 2002.
Throughout his active years, LaDon was involved in 4-H judging, the Pork Producers Council, Cattlemen's Association, Saddle & Sirloin, Little International, Harvest Bowl Committee, and North Dakota Agriculture Winter Show. LaDon also spent countless hours working with his Angus cattle on his hobby farm near Kindred.
LaDon married his wife Patricia of 21 years on June 3, 1989 in Fargo ND. He became "Pappa/Grandpa extraordinaire" to his newfound children and grandchildren. LaDon and Patricia travelled extensively across the U.S. but LaDon was most at home on the Dakota prairie.
Preceded in death by his parents, LaDon is survived by his wife Patricia, step-children Wade, Janet, Mary (John), Cyndi, 4 grandchildren, 3 great-grandchildren, his brother Marlowe (Darlene), sister Cynthia, aunt Inez, and 3 nieces.