Leland Matthew Johnson, 85, Hillsboro, ND and Mesa, AZ passed away March 7, 2013 in Mesa after a short battle with cancer.

Leland was born January 4, 1928 in Red Wing, MN the son of Fred and Laura Johnson.  He attended various schools in ND graduating from Forman High School in 1947.  He studied auto mechanics at the State School of Science in Wahpeton.  He moved to central North Dakota where he worked on the Garrison Dam.  It was during this time that his daughter Patricia was born.  They returned to Forman where he operated a Mobil bulk oil gas truck.

In 1956 he moved to Hillsboro and started his career as a Game Warden with Game and Fish.  In 1958 he started work in Fargo for the Great Northern Railroad as a Special Agent.  In 1960 he returned to his passion as a Game Warden and continued until 1992. Finding retirement wasn’t all he hoped he was able to continue with part-time work for Game & Fish. Each deer season one could find him eagerly waiting to ride with Warden Gary Rankin. ( with ticket book in hand) It was noted that he was the oldest peace officer in the state to make an arrest at the age of 79.  He received many awards for his dedication to his life at Game and Fish including Hunter Safety and Wildlife Officer of the Year by the Shikar Sarari Club International.  His passion for his job was felt by all who came in contact with him.

Lee & Betty Sorum had one of the first cabins on Golden Lake. His love of Golden Lake showed by his dedication to secure grants,  walking trail, weed machine and the pavilion.  Their love of Golden Lake showed in all their hard work and friendships that remain all these years.

Lee  never knew the word “no” to anyone in need of a helping hand. We must all remember to smile up to the heavens as he will be smiling down watching over us all.  Our memories of him will keep our hearts alive.

Leland is survived by his daughter, Patty (Butch) Baasch of Fargo, ND; grandsons, Chad (Bri) Clemenson of Fargo – great grandsons, Chase and Jack; and Brooks (Tanya) Clemenson of Bemidji – and their soon to be born child; and brother-in-law, Dale Peterson of Milnor, ND; and many nieces and nephews.

He was preceded in death by his parents; his sister, Joann Peterson; his brother, Edward Johnson; his special friend, Betty Sorum; and step siblings, Helen Harris, Joyce Bommersbach, Doris Arena, Marian Gangl and James Meyer.

The family of Lee wish to “thank” everyone for their support and love at this time...

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