LaVern Johnson, 91

LaVern (Vern) Johnson, age 91, of Buffalo, formerly of Montrose, died Sunday, Oct. 25, 2016.

A memorial service for LaVern will take place Wednesday, Jan. 25 at 11 a.m. at Bethlehem United Church of Christ in Maple Lake, followed by a potluck luncheon. Bethlehem UCC is located on County Road 37, on the north side of Maple Lake High School.

Vern was born Jan. 2, 1925, in White Earth, ND, the youngest of 11 children born to Peter G. and Clara P. Johnson. His family moved to Williston, ND in 1931, when Vern was 6, where he attended Williston schools, and graduated from Williston High School in 1944.

While attending high school, Vern worked for a couple of the local businesses delivering papers for the local newspaper and for a local drug store.

During his senior year of high school, Vern acquired acute rheumatoid arthritis and was classified 4-F by the army. He decided that if the army wouldn’t take him, he would work at a defense plant.

After graduating from high school, he went west to Spokane, WA, where he worked for a time at Alcoa (Aluminum Company of America). He then went to work for the Spokane Air Depot, and eventually transferred to Hickum Field in Honolulu, HI, where he worked until they laid off a large group in 1947, after World War II.

In 1947, Vern came to Minneapolis to take treatments for his arthritis. He applied for a job with George A. Clark and Son, a wholesale hardware house, and began work there in January 1948. He was employed at George A. Clark and Son for 34 years until February 1982, when the company went out of business during the recession.

Vern later was employed by Dave Douglas, the Wright County auditor. After a year, he transferred to the county motor vehicle office, where he was lead clerk until his retirement in 1990.

He then moved to Montrose, where he resided until moving to the Park View Care Center in Buffalo until his death.

Vern was a member of Bethlehem United Church of Christ in Maple Lake.

He was preceded in death by his father and mother; one brother; and eight sisters.

Vern is survived by a sister-in-law, Josie (James) Harp of West Des Moines, IA; and nine nephews and nieces.

© Herald Journal Publishing, Inc.