Leon Johnson

leon johnson
Leon Henry Johnson, 85, of Fargo, ND died August 14, 2017. Leon was born December 8, 1931 in Leonard, ND to Clifford and Marie (Gulland) Johnson. Leon graduated from high school in Leonard, ND, completed his bachelor’s degree from Valley City State College, and received his master’s degree from NDSU. Leon served in the Navy during the Korean Conflict and was recently part of the Honor Flight. Leon married Virginia Martin on August 11, 1962 in Chaffee, ND. Leon worked on the Soo Line railroad before beginning his career in education. He taught in Nortonville, Marion, Finley, Forman and Flasher, ND before retiring. Annual fishing trips with fellow superintendents, hunting, and spending time with his grandchildren were things he looked forward to. Survivors are his loving wife Virginia of Fargo, ND; son Lance (Dana) Johnson and their children Trey, Tate, and Bo of Fargo ND; Marna (fiancé Mark) Gietzen of Sioux Falls, SD and children Ben (Abby) Gietzen of Watertown, ND and Kristin (Corey) Haisch of Alcester, SD and 6 great-grandchildren; son Neale (Denise) Johnson of Dilworth, MN and their 4 children and 8 grandchildren. Additionally, Leon is survived by his siblings Jerry (Vivian), Lyle (Betty), Rollin (Jeanne), and Carol (Harlan) Johnson; and several nieces and nephews. Leon was preceded in death by his parents, great-granddaughter Piper Haisch, and brother Allen. Visitation is Thursday, August 17 at 5-7:00 PM with a prayer service at 6pm at Boulger Funeral Home and Celebration of Life Center, Fargo. The funeral service is Friday, August 18 at 10:00 AM at Bethlehem Lutheran Church, Fargo, ND with a visitation one hour prior. Burial will be Monday, August 21 at 1:00 PM in Mandan, ND at North Dakota Veterans Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, please consider donating to a charity of your choice.

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Memories Timeline


  1. Gin And Family; our thoughts and prayers are with you at the very sad moment. Leon was a great friend and a fun person If you need me just give me a call

  2. Leon was a good friend, we enjoyed the time we were able to spend with him. Love and prayers to all of you. Marlys Guttormson

  3. Uncle Leon rocked! Always a comedian with a tinge of political or social commentary. He loved watching sports, talking about his grandchildren and driving people anywhere they wanted to go. From a loyal swimmer to another loyal swimmer, you were my inspiration. Kristine Martin

  4. Aunt Virginia and family,

    Sorry to hear about Uncle Leon passing away. Always enjoyed Uncle Leon’s funny stories, especially from when he was a superintendent. He’ll be missed.

  5. I have fond memories of Leon when I was a principal at North Sargent and superintendent at Leonard. My thoughts and prayers are with you as you celebrate his life.

  6. Leon was a cousin of mine. We grew up only a couple miles apart. Leon accomplished much in his life. A fond memory I have of Leon was one time when he was home on leave from the Navy, he came to church in uniform What a handsome soldier. I was only around 8 or 10 years old but he made an impression on me. I felt really proud to have him as a cousin.

  7. Uncle Leon was an incredible man. His joy in life, great sense of humor, ability to tell great stories, and kindness drew many people to him. He teased me into adulthood about how I used to say “potato, potato, potato” when I was a child. He will be missed dearly.

  8. Mr. Leon was a great guy, and very kind to me when I needed it. I am very sorry for your loss. God Bless all of you.

  9. Our thoughts and prayers are with you as you celebrate Leon,s life. May all the good thoughts linger in your minds forever. God bless you.

  10. Besides being a great guy, Leon taught me volumes about North Dakota. A true gentleman and one of my favorite people.


    A dry wit, a teddy bear heart, and always made us feel part of the family.


    He will be missed.

    Dan and Cindy Martin

  11. I never knew much about Leon he introduced himself 6 or 7 years ago while we were swimming laps at the YMCA. We saw each other frequently but never had any lengthy conversations. He seemed to me just a nice guy who is concerned about his health and therefore choose swimming. Last Monday we kind of joked as usual and then swam for about 1/2 hour and being at the low end of the pool I said a few more words to Leon but he was not able to respond but showed signs of fatigue so I told him to slow down but he just stared at me and I could tell something was seriously wrong. Fortunately he made it out of the pool but was not able to go on any longer. I put his head on a soft cushion removed his goggles and a lifeguard took over.
    I will miss my pal.

  12. My deepest sympathy. Iost my father in 84. Sometimes I find myself wishing I could ask his advice. The loss is great, but the strength in you will be better.

  13. Virginia and Family,
    My thoughts and prayers are with you. My memories of Leon(Mr. Johnson) are back at Nortonville School where he was my teacher, coach and a family friend since my Mom also taught there. God Bless you.
    Frank Podoll

  14. Leon became my friend through swimming at the Y, Wellness Center and South High when the pool was being remodeled. We had a North Dakota connection, as my Aunt Ruth Cooper taught music when he was at Foreman (North Sargent). We chatted in the steam room after swimming. He was witty with dry humor but very engaging.
    One day when I was complaining about arthritis in my shoulder, he paused and responded, “Ya but, will it matter in a hundred years?” That perspective and phrase became a frequent comment between us, and one that I will cherish.
    Rest in Peace.

  15. Dear Aunt Virginia, sorry we cant be there at the difficult time. Uncle Leon was a wonderful uncle, and I always appreciated his sense of humor, and how much he like going to eat lutefisk, He will be terribly missed. Many hugs to you and the whole family. Love, Jennifer Velasco

  16. Leon and I would talk alot about The Minnesota TWINS and VIKINGS on how they have been doing this year!!! I know Leon through the Downtown YMCA!!!! My Dad said that he gave Leon some Sunglasses he cold wear on his hat and he loved it but few weeks later he lost them 🙂 We sure will miss LEON REST IN PEACE Leon!!!!

    Randy and Don Mertes

  17. I had the opportunity to work with Leon at Sargent Central. He was a marvelous educator in many ways, but I remember most his fierce commitment to students as people. Leon taught me the importance of caring for students first and focusing on teaching knowledge second. Leon cared. Leon was a bottomless repository of jokes. He had a joke for every occasion and rarely repeated any. He also knew more people than anyone I have ever known. Wherever we went, he met someone who knew him. I believe that was true because Leon made an impression on everyone. He was my friend and mentor. Like many people, I will miss him deeply. Farewell old friend.

  18. We enjoyed the many visits we had with Leon at the Clapp Senior Center.
    Our sympathy to the family at this loss. Gordon & Georgia

  19. I also remember swimming with Leon at the Y. He told me about counting the number of miles. We never had a long conversation. Many times the end of our conversation was, it will not matter in 100 years.

    He will be missed.

    God’s Blessings for the family and friends

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