Gerald Johnson

Gerald Johnson, 87, longtime Fessenden pharmacist, passed away Wednesday, March 5, 2014, at the Banner Baywood Medical Center in Mesa, Ariz.

Gerald Johnson, son of Chester and Evelyn (Wilkes) Johnson, was born Nov. 30, 1926, in Harvey, where he was raised. He attended Harvey High School, graduating in 1945. In July 1945 he entered the U.S. Navy and served his country during World War II. Upon receiving his honorable discharge, he enrolled at North Dakota State University in Fargo where he graduated with a degree in pharmacy in 1950.

He was married to Ruth Berg on June 22, 1952, in Mayville. They lived in Fairmount, where Jerry operated a pharmacy until 1954. In September 1954 they moved to Fessenden and purchased the local pharmacy which he continued to operate as Johnson Drug for more than 35 years. Following his retirement in 1990, they maintained their residence in Fessenden and spent their winters in Mesa.

Jerry was very active in Fessenden’s community affairs. He served on the school board, 17 years on the local park board eight as president, nine years on city council and mayor for three terms. He was a registered EMT on the local ambulance squad and a Red Cross CPR instructor. He was a past president of Civic and Commerce Association and the Kiwanis Club. He was a past commander of the American Legion, former Wells County Republican chairman and trustee of First Lutheran Church.

In 1983 Jerry received the Bowl of Hygeia award for outstanding community service in pharmacy. He served on the N.D. State Board of Pharmacy for five years. He continued his service traveling North Dakota as a compliance officer for the board.

Jerry enjoyed family vacations at the lake or exploring the U.S. This gave him a great opportunity to use his love of photography which was passed on to all three girls.

Jerry is survived by: his wife of 61 years, Ruth; three daughters, Jean Demro of Three Rivers, Mich., Carol (Mark) Knorr of Velva and Susan (Roger) Hodnefield of Grand Forks; seven grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.

He was preceded in death by his parents.

Funeral: Thursday, March 13, at 11 a.m. at the First Lutheran Church in Fessenden.

Burial: Hillside Cemetery in Fessenden.

Visitation: Wednesday from 3 to 6 p.m. at the Nelson Funeral Home in Fessenden.