Posted 6/02/15 (Tue)
Karen Johnson, 53, of Watford City, died on Sunday, May 24, 2015, at Sanford Hospital in Bismarck, N.D., after a long and courageous battle with cancer.
Karen Jan Johnson was born on January 8, 1962, in Watford City, N.D., to Omar and Jean (Mogen) Wold. She was baptized and confirmed at the First Lutheran Church. At an early age, it was very apparent that Karen had a special way with people. She enjoyed helping her parents at the livestock ring and delighted in getting to know all the families in McKenzie County.
Karen graduated from Watford City High School in 1980, where she was active in band and met the love of her life, David Johnson. The high school sweethearts attended Valley City State College until their wedding on June 13, 1981. The couple then moved to Fargo, where they attended North Dakota State University. In 1983, they moved to Bremerton, Wash., and Karen continued her education and graduated from the University of Washington with a Bachelor of Arts degree in English.
After the birth of their first child, Chelsea, the couple returned to Watford City in 1987. Karen and David became actively involved in the community and raised their two children, Chelsea and Maxwell. David’s work took the family to Carrington, N.D., from 2003 until 2006, after which they returned to their beloved hometown of Watford City.
Continuing her love of connecting with people and giving back, Karen participated in several service organizations, including serving as chairman of the Chamber of Commerce, as a member of the Beta Sigma Phi Sorority, on the Watford City Golf Board, and on the McKenzie Bay Marine Club Board.
Karen spent the majority of her professional career at First International Bank & Trust. In 1990, she began as an Administrative Assistant, and advanced to be an Insurance Agent, Loan Officer, and finished her career as a Bank Secrecy Officer. Karen enjoyed working with the customers and was very astute at understanding people and their needs. She retired from the bank in 2014.
In 1994, Karen and David purchased a cabin at McKenzie Bay on Lake Sakakawea. Karen loved going to the lake to spend quality time with family and friends. Every possible weekend from March to October was spent cruising on the boat, relaxing on the beach, gathering with friends, mowing the lawn, working on puzzles, or watching movies on rainy days. Karen was always the best fisherman in the boat, consistently catching the biggest and the most fish. In 2013, Arizona sunshine beckoned, so David and Karen purchased a home in Scottsdale, Ariz. Karen enjoyed floating in the pool, hosting friends, and taking trips to Old Town.
Karen was a woman of quiet strength, subtle wit, strong will, and a welcoming heart. Karen taught her children the importance of family, graciousness, and enjoying every moment. She was happiest when Chelsea, Max, and their spouses were by her side. Karen made dear friends everywhere she went. But above all, she was a family-oriented woman and fiercely loved by all of those close to her.
Karen is survived by her husband, David Johnson; two children, Chelsea (Monty) Bulzomi of Denver, Colo., and Maxwell (Allison) Johnson of Minot, N.D.; mother, Jean Wold of Watford City, N.D.; brothers, Brian (Darci) Wold of Aurora Colo., Bruce (Gail) Wold of Lake Park, Minn., Jay (Roza) Wold of Minot, N.D., and Dan (Cheryl) Wold of Aberdeen, S.D.; father-in-law, Cecil (Terri) Johnson of Wenatchee, Wash.; and many aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews, cousins, and friends. Karen was preceded in death by her father, Omar Wold; mother-in-law, Ellen Johnson; as well as maternal and paternal grandparents.
A funeral service for Karen, was held at 11 a.m., CDT, Friday, May 29, 2015, at the First Lutheran Church in Watford City with Pastor Rob Favorite officiating.
Visitation for Karen was at 4 p.m. – 6 p.m., CDT, Thursday, May 28, at the church with a prayer service held at 7 p.m.
Remembrances and condolences may be shared with the family at www.stevensonfuneralhome.com