Wayne Paul Johnson

March 3, 1954-Sept. 19, 2020

Wayne Paul Johnson,

66, of Minot, ND, died at

home suddenly from an

apparent cardiac event

early in the morning of

September 19, 2020.

Wayne was born on

March 3, 1954, the second

of three sons of mission-

ary parents, Dorothy Wit-

mer Johnson and Wey-

burn C. Johnson. The fam-

ily lived in India until

Wayne reached the 10th

grade. The family spent

furloughs in Turtle Lake,

ND and Brown City,

Michigan. In 1976 he and

Mary Peterson were unit-

ed in marriage. Wayne

graduated in 1977 with a

BS in mathematics from

the University of Illinois

in Chicago and, in 1986,

with an MS in computer

science from the Courant

Institute of New York


Wayne was employed

by IBM, Western Electric

Research, Bell Labora-

tories, and Chemical

Abstracts Service, before

co-founding LeadScope,

Inc. in Columbus, Ohio in

1997. As a computer

scientist he loved his

work. His career revolved

around data mining and

visualization and statis-


Wayne’s and Mary’s

work and education took

their family of five chil-

dren all around the USA.

In 2013 he moved to

North Dakota and in 2017

began building a house on

his great-grandfather’s

homestead. There, he was

developing Friluftsliv

Farm as a research site for

regenerative agricultural

practices. This was the

great vocation of Wayne’s

life and the joy of his

heart. He would say that if

it was possible to com-

plete a project in one’s

own lifetime, it was not

big enough. Wayne’s other

great loves were choral

music and classical piano,

economic theory, his

wife’s cooking, and his

grandchildren. He was his

children’s greatest cheer-

leader as they grew into

responsible adults.

Wayne was prede-

ceased by: his mother,

Dorothy Witmer Johnson,

and his brother, David A.


He is survived by: his

wife, the Rev. Mary Peter-

son Johnson; his father,

Weyburn C. Johnson; his

brother, Donald Johnson

and Don’s wife, Pat;

numerous nieces,

nephews, and cousins;

five children and their

respective partners, and

six grandchildren.

Inspired, encouraged,

and cherished by their fa-

ther are his children and

their spouses, and his

grandchildren: Samuel

Bernt Johnson and wife

Katy Svatek and children

Alex (“Lillian”), Sophia,

Clara, and Abigail; Anna

Maria McKenzie and hus-

band Brent McKenzie and

their children Sorrell and

Finn; Simone Allegra

Rosenblum and husband

Ryan Rosenblum; Sylvia

Elizabeth Kirby; and Paul

David Johnson.

A service for immediate

family took place on Sep-

tember 23 at All Saints’

Episcopal Church, the

Rev. Zanne Ness officiat-


In lieu of flowers,

memorials may be sent to

The Land Institute to

honor Wayne’s commit-

ment to agroecology and

regenerative agriculture


Those wishing to sign

an online guestbook are

asked to go to



Thompson-Larson Fun-

eral Home, Minot