Longtime Towner resident John Michael "Johnny" Piatz died Friday, Jan. 18, 2013, at the age of 96 at Trinity Homes in Minot.
He was born to Michael and Johanna (Keller) Piatz on Nov. 2, 1916, in Martin. Johnny was raised in the rural Fillmore home of his parents and received his education in a country school near his home.
On June 18, 1940, he was united in marriage to Marie Meyer at Brinsmade. Following their marriage, they started their life together farming in the Fillmore area. In 1947, the couple purchased the Fillmore Grocery Store, and in 1951, they purchased the Bremen Bar also. Along came 1953, when Johnny and Marie moved to Towner and purchased the Blue Moon Cocktail Lounge, which they operated until their retirement in 1966.
Following retirement, the couple enjoyed travel throughout the United States and several foreign countries, spent many winters in Arizona, enjoyed their Lake Metigoshe cabin where he spent countless hours pulling the children and grandchildren skiing and tubing. Johnny was a passionate hunter and fisherman. Marie died May 31, 1990.
Johnny was a member of St. Cecilia's Catholic Church, the Catholic Order of Foresters, a 50-plus year member of the Minot Elks Lodge, a 30-plus year member of the Towner volunteer Fire, Ambulance and Rescue Squads, and was one of the 13 original directors of the Towner Rodeo Association, which was established in 1961.
He is survived by: his loving family, which includes one daughter, Joan Nord, of Prior Lake, Minn., three sons, John Jr. (Barb), of Minot, Larry (Nydia), of Towner and David, of Onamia, Minn.; seven grandchildren; 17 great-grandchildren and one great-great-granddaughter; brother-in-law, Helmuth Gries; and sisters-in-law, Barbara Piatz, Marlys Piatz, Ester Piatz, Irene Risovi and Jean Meyer.
He was preceded in death by his wife; daughter, Rosemarie; brothers, Frank, Wendelin, Mike Jr., and Edward Piatz; sisters, Lena Neis, Kathryn Hoffart and Agnes Gries; sons-in-law, John Nord and Roger Vedquam; and his parents.
Mass of Christian Burial: Will be held Friday, Jan. 25, at 1 p.m., in St. Cecilia's Catholic Church, Towner, with Fr. Michael Schommer, Celebrant, and Msgr. Fr. Joseph Senger, Concelebrant.
Burial: In the spring, in the church cemetery.
Visitation: Thursday, Jan. 24, from 5 to 7 p.m., at the Anderson Funeral Home in Towner. Visitation will continue for one hour prior to the time of services at the church on Friday.
Rosary and parish vigil service: Thursday, 7 p.m., at the funeral home.
Arrangements with the Anderson Funeral Home of Towner. Online registry: (www.funeralsbyanderson.com).