Posted 2/07/17 (Tue)
Florence Johnsrud, 94, of rural Watford City, N.D., more recently of Eagle, Idaho, passed away Wednesday, Feb. 1, 2017, at the Edgewood at Spring Creek in Eagle, Idaho.
Florence Pearl Johnsrud was born April 8, 1922, at the Dodge Ranch near Demick Lake in McKenzie County. She was the second child born in a family of six to Charles and Mabel Dodge Kerr. In 1940 she married her life long friend and neighbor Harold C. Johnsrud. Harold was in the Navy stationed in California, so Florence moved to the Bay area with her cousin and sister. She worked for the American Can Company. When the war was over and Harold was released from service, they moved back to North Dakota where they lived and worked for several farms and ranches. Their daughter Colleen was born in 1947 and at that time they bought their home in North Fork Township near where they grew up. Hal was born a year later and Miles four years later.
They worked side by side and she was the best help any man would want. She had the ability to milk a cow, pull a calf and within a few minutes look like a million dollars. In 1965 their efforts were rewarded when they were awarded the McKenzie County Soil Conservation Award. During this same time she also worked as the first Supervisor of Good Shepherd Home. She completed a year long dietary class to enhance her position at GSH. Though she was a supervisor she was always willing to fill in doing any job that needed to be done.
All the residents and staff at GSH appreciated her labor of love. I don’t think we ever had a holiday meal without someone from GSH that didn’t have a place to go. She could not stand for anyone to be alone and was determined to include as many as she could.
Florence retired after nine years of service for what she and Harold hoped would be some kind of retirement and travel. Their plans were cut short when he died in a tragic tractor accident on April 1, 1976. She endured that loss, continuing to farm and ranch until in 1987 she moved to California to be near her sister Mildred.
She created a whole new life for herself as assistant manager of Dry Creek Ranch. Once again because of her love of people she cared for her autistic nephew until his death. Hospitality abounded in her home where she served up the best buttermilk pancakes in the world. In fact, her kitchen was dubbed FLO HOP because she served delicious pancakes, homemade syrup and piping hot coffee. She cooked for branders up and until her 90th birthday serving delicious meals to 30- 40 people at a time.
She moved to Eagle, Idaho, three years ago and lived at Spring Creek Edgewood in an independent community until her move to assisted living. She died peacefully with family by her side.
She is preceded in death by her husband, Harold; her parents, Charles and Mabel Kerr; a brother, Clarence who died at birth; sisters, Dorothy Colebank and Mildred DeDomenico. She is survived by her sisters, Charlet Killough, Betty Kelly and children, Colleen Kling (Larry) of Star, Idaho; Hal Johnsrud of Mandaree, N.D., and Miles Johnsrud (Marlene) of Mineral Wells, Texas. Nine grandchildren, Shawn Kling, Heather Kling Shelly, Cassie Johnsrud Cervera, Tara Johnsrud Burns, Summer Johnsrud Hernandez, CJ Johnsrud, Morgan, Christian, and Nolan Johnsrud. Twenty-two very special great grandchildren, and one precious great great grandchild. Last, but certainly not least, many nieces and nephews and friends who loved her like a mother, and whom she adored.
This obituary would not be complete without mentioning how many children’s lives she touched. She wasn’t just our mother, she was a mother to many. In fact, she was the mother of mothers, doing anything she could to invest in the lives of anyone who needed her. Since her death social media has been replete with posts praising her, sharing what she meant to them in their life. She was called a princess, a queen, a saint, hospitable, loving, kind. The most quoted phrase echoed over and over was that she was “one classy lady.” One dear friend said it best. Today our world became a little bit smaller because we lost someone who will leave a big void in the lives of many, especially her family.
Her funeral service will be held at 11 a.m. on Friday, Feb. 10, 2017, at the Watford City Assembly of God Church. Pastor Sheldon McGorman will officiate and interment will be in the Clear Creek Cemetery, southwest of Keene, N.D. Friends may call at the church on Friday one hour prior to services.
Fulkerson Stevenson Funeral Home in Watford City is assisting the family. Friends may sign the on-line register and give their condolences at www.fulkersons.com.