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LaVonne Fernette Johnson

May 14, 1936 — April 21, 2023

Fergus Falls

 

LaVonne F. Johnson, 86, of Fergus Falls, died on Friday, April 21, 2023, at her residence. 

LaVonne Fernette was born on May 14, 1936, near Audubon, MN, the daughter of Oscar and Clara (Bergstad) Sjule, who joyfully baptized her into the Christian faith. As a young girl, her family moved to a farm outside Bottineau, ND.  There she and her siblings helped with farm chores and attended a one room schoolhouse. Her family worshiped at Inherred Lutheran Church in the Turtle mountains where she was confirmed in her faith after making a personal commitment to Christ.  As a freshman she left home to attend Hillcrest Lutheran Academy in Fergus Falls where she graduated in 1954 and went on to further her education at the Lutheran Brethren Bible School. LaVonne earned her bachelor’s degree in music education on May 10, 1987, from the University of North Dakota.

In 1956, she married Roy Berent Johnson in Bottineau, ND. The couple felt a strong calling into the ministry and after her husband graduated from seminary they accepted their first call to Malta, MT.  They spent a few years between ministry locations in the Fargo/Moorhead area and attended Triumph Lutheran Church in Moorhead, MN. In 1976 they went on to serve again in Sidney, MT. Their ministry took them to many locations including Dickinson, ND, Fertile, MN, Ortonville, MN, Wichita Falls, TX, Ortley and Webster, SD, Roseau, MN and Northome, MN where together they faithfully served many churches.

At age 50 LaVonne completed a life goal of finishing college and received high academic honors for her studies. She then became a music teacher working at various High Schools throughout the following years.  LaVonne directed worship and praise groups at the church, lead youth groups, Sunday School and enjoyed playing organ & piano during church services. She served in Women’s Missionary Fellowship (WMF) where she was a keynote speaker and enjoyed attending Red Hats. LaVonne ran a successful Interior Design Business for over 30 years and won many sales awards.  She overcame her battle with lymphoma and continued to be active into her later years, gardening, kayaking, cross country skiing, and fishing. The couple built their retirement home on White Swan Lake together and spent many wonderful years with family hosting fourth of July, Thanksgiving and Christmas celebrations. She cherished these years with her husband, children and grandchildren.

She is survived by her husband, Roy Johnson of Fergus Falls; children, Rhonda (David) Freeh of Lake Park, MN, Robert (Karla) Johnson of Cottage Grove, MN, Richard (Barb) Johnson of Branson, MO, Ryan (Heather) Johnson of Casselton, ND and Robyn (Aeric) Larson of Spring Lake Park, MN; brothers, Gerald Sjule and Leland Sjule; 14 grandchildren; 11 great grandchildren along with numerous relatives and friends. She was preceded in death by her parents, Oscar and Clara Sjule; sisters, Marilyn Hunter and Bev Warwick and niece, Melody. 

Funeral Service: 11:00 a.m., Thursday, April 27, 2023, at Bethel Lutheran Church in Fergus Falls, with a visitation one hour prior to the service. 

Clergy: Revs. Roger Viksnes, Ed Monson and John Kilde

Interment: Audubon Cemetery, Audubon, MN

Funeral arrangements are with the Glende-Nilson Funeral Home of Fergus Falls. 

 

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