Gerald R. ‘Jerry’ Johnson Sr., 71, of Devils Lake, ND, passed away in the loving care of his family and Altru Hospice on Tuesday, July 30, 2019, at his home.
Gerald R. ‘Jerry’ Johnson Sr., 71, of Devils Lake, ND, passed away in the loving care of his family and Altru Hospice on Tuesday, July 30, 2019, at his home. Funeral Services for Jerry will be held on Saturday, Aug. 3 at 10 a.m. St. Olaf Lutheran Church with Reverend Jim Paulson officiating. Burial will be in the Devils Lake Cemetery with Military Honors accorded by the Neathery-Simensen Post No. 756, Devils Lake Veterans of Foreign Wars and the North Dakota Military Funeral Honors Team-Army. Fireman’s Salute will be provided by the Devils Lake Volunteer Fire Department. Visitation will be held at St. Olaf Lutheran Church on Friday, Aug. 2 from 4 until 6 p.m. with a time of prayer and remembrance at 6 p.m. Visitation on Saturday will continue at the church one hour prior to the funeral service. Gerald Ray, son of Fred and Vera (Cole) Johnson was born on July 16, 1948, at Mercy Hospital, Devils Lake. He lived at the Johnson family farm until he was six years old when his dad passed away. The family then moved to Southam, ND, and lived with his uncle Bert Cole. Jerry attended Southam Public School through the 8th grade, his freshman year at Crary Public School, sophomore year at Lakota and graduated from Crary High School with the class of 1966. Jerry joined the United States Army on Feb. 7, 1967, and served his country stateside. He was honorably discharged from active duty with the rank of Specialist 5 on Feb. 6, 1969, but served with the Army Reserve until Feb. of 1973. Jerry was united in marriage to Carol Lee Aronson on July 25, 1969, and they just celebrated their 50th Wedding Anniversary. They established their home in Devils Lake where they lived, worked and raised their family through the years. Jerry worked at Behms Propane prior to starting at MDU in 1970. He retired from MDU after 40 years of service in 2010. After he retired they purchased Carol’s family farmstead where he enjoyed mowing and spending time in the country’s peace and quiet. When not at the farm, he would be making his rounds at his favorite coffee stops; Cedar Inn, Knudson’s Body Shop, Sinclair Station, Bus Shop, Greg’s and MDU. Highlights of Jerry’s life were putting on many miles to attend his grandchildren’s events. Everyone knew grandpa Jerry was their No. 1 fan. The most important aspect of his life was his family and friends. Upon retirement, Jerry took the entire family to Disney World in Florida and this gift held so many good times and special memories. Jerry was a member of Bethlehem Lutheran Church, Doyon, ND, and St. Olaf Lutheran Church, Devils Lake. He also enjoyed membership in the Devils Lake Elks and American Legion. He was a dedicated volunteer fireman with the Devils Lake Fire Department for 17 years. Jerry also enjoyed hunting, camping, fishing and racing. You would frequently find him at River City Speedway in Grand Forks, ND, on Friday nights and Devils Lake Speedway on Saturday nights. On the NASCAR circuit he was always cheering for Jeff Gordon, car No. 24, to win. Jerry’s life was all about service to his country, his job and his community and unconditional love for his family and many dear friends. Jerry is survived by his loving family. His wife, Carol; children and their spouses, Wanda (Johnson) and Eric Nygaard and Gerald Johnson Jr. and Kris, all of Devils Lake; grandchildren, Chase Johnson, Jamestown, ND, Brady and Shayla Nygaard, Hillsboro, ND, Morgan Johnson and Jada Nygaard, both of Devils Lake; siblings, Lynn (Donna) Johnson, Towner, ND, Cheryl (Roger) Perkuhn, Southam, Myrle (Darlene) Aronson, Sarles, ND, Judy Aronson and Beverly Sager, all of Devils Lake; several nieces and nephews; and ten godchildren, Greg Sager, Dwight Olson, Tammy Kmecht, Tracy Brewer, Jamie Thomson, Cynthia Skoda, Jennifer Hostrup, Danny Johnson, Davy Johnson and Travis Sager. He was preceded in death by; his parents; in-laws, Melford and Beatrice Aronson; siblings, Lanetta (Johnson) and Marlin Olson, Laverne (Johnson) and Richard Perkuhn, Arnold Aronson and Gene Sager. Casket Bearers will be: Kenny Hunt, Don Axtman, Barry Gage, Kevin Kraft, Lonnie Lacina, Brandon Exner, BJ Rohr and Mark Nygarrd. Honorary Bearers: all of Jerry’s Friends, Devils Lake Volunteer Fire Department, MDU Employees, North Central Granite, Bus Barn, Sinclair, Cedar Inn Coffee Buddies and Friends, Jerry Dimmler, Robin Ness, Don Mattern, Richard Mahoney, Richard Flanders, Terry Thomson, Terry Straabe and Alvin Schroeder. Music will be provided by Teresa Agnes, soloist and Jean Aardahl, pianist.