Posted 4/17/13 (Wed)
Florence Johnson, 95, of Watford City died Sunday, April 7, at the Good Shepherd Home. Her funeral was held at 2:00 p.m., Friday, April 12, 2013, at the Good Shepherd Home with Pastor Rob Favorite officiating. Interment was in the Banks Cemetery, Watford City, N.D. under the care Fulkerson Funeral Home of Watford City.
Florence Frances Johnson, was born on April 3, 1918, to William and Helen (Parker) Coles, in Kinning Township, McKenzie County, North Dakota. The family lived in Montana when she was a small child until Helen and the girls, Florence, Edith and Gladys returned to McKenzie County in the early 1920s. While her mother worked as a cook on a ranch, Florence lived with her maternal grandparents, William F. and Ada Parker, in the Kinning community until she started school.
Her mother married David Gamache, a widower with four children. They lived in the Banks area on various farms during her growing up years. She and her sisters had chores to do before walking to the one-room country school they attended. She also attended one year at Watford City High School. Florence talked of herding sheep for her step-father, going after water with a team and wagon, helping care for her younger sisters, Vera and Elise, and little brother Buddy Gamache, and the difficult time of living through the depression.
On July 20, 1939, she married William Ivan Johnson at her parent’s home in the Banks community. Their first home was a little log house down by the Missouri River. They lived for a time in the same house they were married in after her parents moved elsewhere. Then they lived at the O’Grady place. William. Ivan and Florence became the parents of four children, Allen (Shorty), Claudia, Judy, and William. Dale. In 1946, they moved to the farm east of Watford City where they made their home until Ivan’s death in 2000. Florence then moved into town to live with her son, Allen (Shorty), until she entered the Good Shepherd Home in 2007.
Florence was an excellent seamstress, liked to crochet, paint pictures, write poetry, do crafts with beads and other materials. While at Good Shepherd, Florence was known to keep herself busy with her crafts and crocheting, always making items for friends and members of the staff who knew her to be sweet and personable. She spent hours listening to her favorite Daniel O’Donnell CDs as she worked away at her handy work. She also loved butterflies, blue birds, music by Jim Reeves and Charley Pride. Many family members and friends enjoyed the poems she mailed out with Christmas cards.
Florence passed away peacefully with her daughter, Claudia; her sisters, Elise and Vera; and nieces, Linda and Carolyn, at her side.
Florence is survived by two daughters, Claudia (David) Fisketjon-Evans, Bismarck, N.D., and Judy Okland, Watford City, N.D.; two sons, William Dale (Sabrina) Johnson, St Paul, Minn., and Allen “Shorty” Johnson, of Watford City, N.D.; five grandsons, Craig (Brenda) Fisketjon, Chris Fisketjon, Shannon (Julie) Hammeren, Darin Okland, and Steven (Kim) Peterson; three great- grandsons, Cody Fisketjon, Grant William Peterson, and Eric William Hammeren; five great-granddaughters, Brett Fisketjon, Alyx Fisketjon, Emily Hammeren, Katie Hammeren, and Claire Peterson; one great-great- grandson, Caidyn Fisketjon (son of Cody); two sisters, Elise Renbarger, Watford City, N.D., and Vera Kite, Vancouver, Wash.; three brothers-in-law, Willis “Bill” Johnson, Chico, Calif., Bob Johnson, Rome, Ga., Raymond Johnson, Libby, Mont.; numerous nieces, nephews, and cousins; step children of William. Dale Johnson, Michele, Jennie, and Jordan are Sabrina’s (Dale’s wife) children.
She was preceded in death by her husband of 61 years, William Ivan Johnson; her mother, Helen Gamache; step-father, David Gamache; father, William Coles; sisters, Edith Blake, Gladys Ellingson; brother, Norman “Buddy” Gamache; sons-in-law, Earl Fisketjon, Arnold Hammeren, and Duane Okland; brothers-in-law, Vernon Renbarger, Joe Kite, Ted Blake, Merlyn Ellingson, Gayland, Jim, Don and Joe Johnson; her Johnson sisters-in-law, Evelyn, Edith, Marion, Ruth and Diane (Buddy) Gamache.
Remembrances and condolences may be shared with the family at www.fulkersons.com.