Apr. 5, 1933 – Jun. 3, 2018
LeRoy Johnson, 85, died Sunday, June 3, 2018, at HAMC in Rugby, ND. LeRoy was born April 5, 1933, in Bottineau, ND, to Lloyd and Margaret (Berg) Johnson.
He lived near Overly on the family farm and at-tended school in Overly and Willow City, where he graduated in 1951. Immediately following graduation, he began farming with his dad. LeRoy was drafted into the Army in December of 1957, and served at Fort Huachuca, Arizona, until his honor-able discharge as a SP4 E-4 in 1959. On June 14, 1958, he married the love of his life, Muriel Engebrit in Rugby. God gifted LeRoy and Muriel four children: Jody, Scott, Cory, and Kipp. Following his discharge from the Army, LeRoy and Muriel returned to Kohlmeier Township near Rolette to farm. During this time, LeRoy also hauled hay and worked as a salesman
for Buchl Implement. In 1967, LeRoy purchased the International Harvester dealership with partner, Andy Buchl, and renamed it Pierce Implement. He sold the imple-
ment in May, 1980, when he began farming full-time with his sons. He continued to actively farm until 2017.
LeRoy served on numerous boards throughout his life as he believed that service to others was as important as hard work. The Rugby City Council, Rugby JDA, First Lutheran Church Council, Sons of Norway, Rugby American Legion Post, and the Rugby Eagles all benefited from his guidance through the years. LeRoy was a life-
time member of the Masons and Shriners. He loved driving his little Shriner car in all the parades around ND and Manitoba. LeRoy was a powerful advocate for water in North Dakota. He served as a director for the Garrison Diversion project from 1983-2010 and helped create the Pierce County Rural Water Project. Because of his
tireless work, hundreds of farms and rural residences have access to healthy water in a four-county area. He received both the North Dakota Water Wheel Award in 2003 and the Clark Cronquist Waterline Award in 2009 for his service to rural water in North Dakota.
LeRoy’s greatest joy was his wife and family. He loved calling his kids, grandkids, family, and friends on the phone to talk about the day, a deal, an event, a game, or just to check on each one. He spent hours following the grandkids’ activities, especially listening to and watching their sporting events. As his eyes began to weaken, he watched the games through the words of Carl Hauser on KZZJ, often sitting courtside with headphones. LeRoy enjoyed fishing; deer hunting, especially the social gathering; a Christmas Eve aquavit toast with family; listening to or watching the Twins and Vikings; telling stories; and farming be-side his family. LeRoy’s
senior quote in 1951 read: the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach, and he clearly believed that as he loved Muriel’s cooking.
LeRoy is survived by his wife of nearly sixty years, Muriel; his daughter, Jody (David) Rothschiller, Eagan, MN; his sons: Scott (Joni), Cory (Kayla), and Kipp (Leah),
all Rugby; his grandchildren: Derek (MeganWard), Jordan, and Brock Rothschiller, Helen, Anders, and Anna Johnson, Isaiah and Annika Johnson; brothers: Ed (Dana), Towner, ND, and Robert L. (JoAnn), Rugby; sister: Marilyn Polk, Bismarck; sister-in-law, Marlys Sollin, Devils Lake; and numerous nieces, nephews, and extended family. He was preceded in death by his grandparents; his parents; a brother, Donald; sisters, Carol Johnson and Shirley Walker; brothers-in-law, Dan Polk, Warren Walker, Gary Sollin, Don Vetsch, and Orvin Engebrit; and sister-in-law, DonaLou Vetsch.
Funeral services were held at 11:00 a.m. Thursday, June 7th at the First Lutheran Church in Rugby with burial in the Persilla Watts Cemetery, Rug-by. Pastor Mike Pretzer and Pastor Elaine Sveet, officiating.
Organist: Pam Anderson
Vocalist: Josh Mattson
Casket Bearers: Grandchildren,Derek, Jordan & Brock Rothschiller, Helen, Anders & Anna Johnson, Isaiah & Annika Johnson
Honorary Bearers: Dave Shelver, Gerry Jacobson, Jim Rothschiller, Quentin Christman, Wes Black, Barry Medd & Steve Schaan
Military Honors Accorded by: Clarence Larson American Legion Post #23 Honor and Color Guard, Rugby, North Dakota and North Dakota Military Funeral Honors Detail
Arrangements with the Anderson Funeral Home of Rugby. Online registry: www.funeralsbyanderson.com
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