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Danny Johnston

February 22, 2019

Memorial Service

March 02, 2019
- 10:00 AM with a visitation one hour prior.

Boulger Funeral Home


Boulger Funeral Home

Danny Johnston

February 22, 2019


Danny Lee Johnston of Fargo passed on Friday, February 22, 2019 in Essentia Hospital.

Dan was born on September 9, 1949, in Rolla, ND, to Byron G. and Doris I. (Stewart) Johnston. He grew up in the Rolla area and graduated with the Class of 1967. He then enrolled in the University of North Dakota. When John D. Odegard started the School of Aviation in 1968, he was among the first 12 students, eventually earning his commercial pilot’s license and a degree in Airport Administration. Dan married Eunice Pedersen of Grandin on August 19, 1973, in a ceremony at her parents’ farm.

In 1974, Dan went to work for Melroe Co. in Gwinner and later moved to Fargo when the company headquarters relocated in 1976. He worked initially in product management and later as a district sales manager in the southeastern U.S. for their forestry product line. In 1988, he purchased his own Bobcat and started a small construction company, Dan Johnston Enterprises, Inc., which he operated until 2001.

Dan was an enthusiastic hunter and fisherman. He was president of the FM Gators Swim Club, an Assistant Scoutmaster for Boy Scout Troup 233, and a member of the Lake Agassiz Rock Club. During the flood of 2009, he volunteered every day at Sandbag Central. Although his health failed in later years, he loved his Ford Model T pickup (mostly 1923) and he enjoyed his “free” dogs Belle, Libby, and Lena. He also loved grilling and smoking and joined the online Amazing Ribs Pitmaster’s Club. His frequent posts on that site resulted in friendships with people around the world.

Dan was preceded in death by his parents, brother Larry Johnston, and brother-in-law Daniel (Marlee) Pedersen of Lyons, CO.

He is survived by his wife, Eunice, and son, Shawn; brother Kenneth Johnston of Cheyenne, WY; sisters Becky (Marv) Gustafson, St. John, ND, and Sharon (Danny) Berglund, LaBolt, SD; brothers-in-law Gary (Janet) Pedersen of Grandin and Wayne (Dianne) Pedersen of North Port, FL; and numerous nieces and nephews.

There will be a memorial service at 10:00 AM on Saturday, March 2, 2019 at Boulger Funeral Home and Celebration of Life Center, Fargo with a visitation one hour prior.


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28 responses to “Danny Johnston”

  1. Mr. Bones says:

    Dan, I cain’t begin to tell ya how much talkin fer hours on th phone with ya brightened my dark, dismal corner of th world.

    It’s gonna be tough to Sojer on, without ya, Cuz, but I Suhwannee I’ll do my level best, to try an measure up, in honour of yer memory…

    All my love, blessins, an prayers go out to Eunice, Shawn, shit bird dogs, other family, an friends.

    Hope yall know jus how universally treasured, admired, an loved Dan is, in our AR Community!

    Truly a Legend.

    No exaggeration there, jus a fact.

    Yall know how to ring me up, if there’s thing one I can ever do fer yall…

    God Bless,

    Mr. Bones

  2. Michael Munter says:

    Sorry to hear of Danny’s passing. I always enjoyed my times with Danny. It was great to talk with him last summer at the Thorsrud reunion.

  3. Aaron "Huskee" Lyons says:

    To Dan’s family & friends-

    Danny was a bright light of generosity and humor in the online BBQ forum where I and many others got to know him. He never failed to brighten my day and bring a smile to his face reading his words. While I never met him in person, I felt like I had, many times. Dan & I even exchanged gifts some time ago. Such a great man, I will miss him and the smiles he brought me.

    I wish you all comfort at this sad time, and want you to know that Danny touched many whom he’d never even met.

  4. Elton's BBQ says:

    I just wanna quote one of his sayings..
    Dan, you are one of the greatest men i’ve never met!
    My thoughts and condolences go to the family and friends of Dan.
    Thanks for all Dan.

    Kjetil E.

  5. Alistair 'Meat Monster' Hagen says:

    Dan – With an iPad and more emojis than should rightly be squeezed into any one message, you made friends across the world, from your beloved Fargo North Dakota, as a knowledgable, funny and humble brother of the BBQ pit. I was proud to call myself one of them. Your moniker was the BBQ “backyard cremator”, which always got a laugh, but I imagine nothing could be further from the truth. I raised a glass to you from my home in Scotland last night and wished you fare well. Who will keep me up to date now, on the best RV hire deals in the states. I will miss you brother, sincere condolences from my family to yours. Love Alistair aka The Meat Monster.

  6. Skip Schimek says:

    Eunice and Family, I feel so honored to have met up with Dan on the AmazingRibs website. His daily banter with the Pitmaster Club will definitely be missed.I have wonderful memories of our meat ups at the U of MN BBQ Spring Training and the NDSU BBQ Boot Camp last year. I will always remember Dan as a good Friend and fun person. RIP Dan Johnston “The Backyard Cremator” ! Skip from Blue Earth MN

  7. Kim Sjurseth says:

    Dear Eunice,

    We send you all of our love and deepest sympathy. I am so sorry for your loss. I hope that your memories together will bring you some comfort. We will remember you and your family in our prayers.


    Kim and Mark Sjurseth

  8. Ben Kessel says:

    So sorry for your loss Eunice and Shawn. I will always have good memories with our family’s from the rock club to the firework displays on the track at Ben Franklin.
    Ben and Larry Kessel

  9. Terry and Laura Sarkilahti says:

    Sorry to hear of my classmates passing. Enjoyed a visit with him during Rolla’s celebration many years ago. Looks like he had many friends who will surely miss him. A life well lived.

  10. Gloria Manning Covert says:

    Danny…..you were definitely your own person and a gem amongst the rocks!! I didn’t see you but maybe once a year but I always knew the harassment was coming…..lol
    It’s sad to know you are gone but so is your pain….RIP Danny……..your friend and classmate, Gloria

  11. Sam gailfus says:

    So very sorry to hear. While I did not know Danny as well as I knew Larry and the rest of the Johnston’s. Always heard nice things about Danny. Hard to lose our family members and wish the best to his family. If he is anything like his namesake….dyou know we all had a good time. Great people! Cheers to all.

  12. Tom G Wilkie says:

    Eunice and family,

    Was sad to hear of Dan’s passing. I did not see Dan much anymore but when I did we had a great time in
    telling stories and catching up. He had to bring me up to date on the Model T pickup. Looks like Dan had many friends and will be missed by all.

    Tom Wilkie Class of 1967

  13. SALLY Reiten says:

    Eunice, Shawn, Kenny, Becky & Sharon & families:

    You have lost a “Treasure” and my heart & thoughts go out to you. I would like to be at the service to support you as your family has supported us through our losses; but I broke my foot & ankle so cannot drive.

    I have spent many hours reliving growing up with Danny and as usual, this has brought a smile to my heart – the first time he helped me get on a horse (I think it was June) with no saddle and I lasted 10 to 15 seconds before my “pride” hit the ground; or the time Danny and you Kenny took me down to the creek by the old farmstead and sent me out on the raft which you built (which sunk); and, of course there was the BB gun lesson that Danny & you Kenny gave me with little Larry as the target. Summers I spent with all of you were the most fun I had growing up. You guys got me in a lot of hot water with Sonny & Doris; but I managed to pull my own stunts too.

    Dan always had a way of making everyone around him smile – he was infectious, he was a story teller and could spin a yarn that would keep everyone in stitches. As I said, you have lost a “Treasure” – his world has lost a “Treasure.

    God bless you all.

    Cousin Sally

  14. Steve Roy says:

    I never met Danny personally, but really enjoyed his contributions on the Amazingribs.com forums. He and his great sense of humor will be missed.

  15. John R. Bowlsby says:

    I was very sorry to hear that Dan has passed away. He was a great man and one that touched many lives. I knew Dan only from interacting with him over the phone and online. However, I still considered him to be one of my close friends. His generosity, humor and wonderful nature never ceased to amaze me, even when life was tough. I will sincerely miss his frequent posts and pictures to The Pit Master Club. Not to mention his phone calls and gifts he would send my way. The world has lost a good one. There is no question that the world would be a better place if there were more people like Mr. Dan Johnston in it.

    Smoke on my friend, my condolences to his wonderful family.

    John R. Bowlsby

  16. Jay Wilson says:

    Dan was a very generous and thoughtful man. I’m glad I had the opportunity to get to know him. Nobody enjoyed being Santa Claus more than Dan. He brought a smile to countless faces, including mine. I’m very sorry to hear of his passing, and offer my deepest condolences to his family.

  17. Bente Olsen says:

    R.I.P. Dear Dan. Thank you for all the good memories we had with you. Worm thoughts and condolences to Eunice and Shawn and famile.

    Love from Bente and familie, DK

  18. Edward Van Hal says:

    I met Danny at the beach in Detroit Lakes one sunny summer afternoon. He saw my sailboat and exclaimed, “that looks like fun”. The next time I saw him, he, Eunice, Shawn, and the dog were all on a sailboat he had purchased. That is the Danny I remember, happily sailing along, always making a fun event!

  19. Nate says:

    I only knew Dan “the Man, the Myth, The Legend” via the pitmasters’ club on AmazingRibs. Every time I would read one of Dan’s posts I couldn’t help but smile and/or chuckle a bit as he always brought fun to the pit. Dan’s unique way of phrasing things, humility, and at time self deprecating whit made for sensational posts and stories.

    While it is a great misfortune that I was never able to meet Dan in person I still feel lucky to have had the chance to get a glimpse of who he was in and to our pitmasters’ club.

  20. Tom Riley says:

    Eunice and Shawn,

    We are so sorry for your loss. Dan had a wry sense of humo8r, and I appreciated his looking askance at administrators…

    You are in our thoughts right now.

  21. Erik “HouseHomey” Sheesley says:

    Dan, always quick with a kind word. I love the talk about your “Free Mutts” and their uses. Dan you are one of the first people I spoke with in “The Pit” and the PITMASTER Club community is a few emojis short of whole.
    Peace to you my friend.

  22. Gary Lazarus says:

    RIP Danny. The Big Guy and angels will be eating well.

  23. Bill Vanderford says:

    I am really saddened that Dan the man is gone. I will forever remember every interaction that I had with him in the Pit with fondness and a smile. Rest easy Big Dan, you will be missed.
    Bill vandy Vanderford.

  24. Meathead says:

    Dan, you were a cornerstone of our Pitmaster Club. Your wisdom, expertise, and humor were known to al 16,000 members. You are missed already.

  25. Sammy Shuford says:

    Dan, you will be missed.

  26. Ted Weber says:

    My deepest condolences go out to Eunice and Dan’s family. While I never met him in person, we had great interactions at Amazing Ribs. He was a very kind, genuine person who made me laugh at times and made me think deeply at others. I will miss him greatly.

  27. Jason Greff (JCGrill) says:

    So sorry to hear of Dan’s passing. It was wonderful to meet him and Eunice last year when we stopped in Fargo. Naturally he was smoking some meats, outside Ace Hardware on the North side. He was quite the character. I know the Pit crew is thinking of Eunice and wishing her well.

  28. Brad Flood says:

    I was saddened to recently hear of the passing of our great “backyard cremator” but then, almost immediately broke into a warm smile (which I’m sure Danny enjoyed much more, and likely orchestrated from his new perch above!) remembering our jovial exchanges about the total opposite weather reports (mine from an island in the Caribbean, Dan’s from his beloved Fargo, ND) we light-heartedly exchanged in the Pit Club on AR. I was constantly impressed and truly Amazed at the insight, humor, knowledge, helpfulness, genuineness and global reach Danny’s posts exhibited…we we’re so blessed to call him one of US!

    My best wishes & thoughts go out to Eunice & Shawn and the rest of the Johnston clan, and Friends

    They’re All eatin’ one Helluva lot better in Heaven now! God Speed & Rest In Peace My Friend.

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