Lester Gordon Johnson, 91, Minot, and formerly of Ruso, died on Sunday, June 24, 2012, in his home.
Lester was born April 25, 1921, in Ruso, to John G. and Hilda (Olson) Johnson. He grew up on the family farm in Otis Township of McLean County near Ruso and was educated in Ruso. As a young adult he assisted on the family farm and served in the Army from July 1942 until his honorable discharge on Jan. 8, 1946. He returned to North Dakota and attended the North Dakota State College of Science in Wahpeton where he received specialized training in auto body repair. He moved to Minot in 1947 where he was employed at Main Motors.
Lester married Leona Klimpel on Jan. 30, 1949, in Minot. They made their home in Minot where he was employed at several auto dealerships as well as at Nybakken Body Shop for 12 years and as a civil service employee painter at Minot Air Force Base for 10 years until his retirement in 1984. Lester and Leona had enjoyed the winter months in Oklahoma, Texas and Minnesota for many years.
Lester was a member of St. Mark's Lutheran Church in Minot where he served on the church council and as a trustee, elder and Sunday school superintendent and joyfully sang in the church choir for 47 years. Also, he was a member of the Minot American Legion Post #26. He enjoyed reading a good book, his daily and weekly newspapers and putting jigsaw puzzles together in the long winter months. He especially enjoyed spring and summer months when he could spend time in his yard keeping the grass trimmed to perfection and planting and nurturing flowers to full bloom. He will always be remembered for his quick wit, snappy comebacks and lighthearted sense of humor.
Lester's loving family includes: his wife of 63 years, Leona; children, Susan Johnson and Lyle (Robin) Johnson, both of Minot, Donna (Clarence) Hanson, of Ruso, Judy (John) Beck, of Rush City Minn., Diane (Ed) Fager, of Jenks, Okla., and Lowell (Ellen) Johnson, of Houston, Texas; 19 grandchildren; 22 great-grandchildren; one great-great-grandson; siblings, Lloyd Johnson, of Velva, Bernice Melom, of Minneapolis, and Norma Austriem, of Williston; and many nieces, nephews and cousins.
Lester was preceded in death by his parents; brother, Marvin Johnson; and son-in-law, Robert Johnson.
Funeral Service: Thursday, June 28, at 2 p.m., in St. Mark's Lutheran Church, Minot.
Graveside Service: Thursday, at 4 p.m., in Sunset Memorial Gardens, Minot.
Visitation: Today, Wednesday, from 2 to 6 p.m., in Thomas Family Funeral home, Minot.
Memorials are preferred to St. Mark's Lutheran Church or to the donor's choice.
Those wishing to sign the online memorial register or share memories are invited to use the expressions of sympathy section at (www.thomasfamilyfuneralhome.com).