Cover photo for Deborah Johnson's Obituary
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1951 Deborah 2023

Deborah Johnson

October 21, 1951 — June 21, 2023

Deborah Ann Johnson, age 71, passed away June 21, 2023, at LB Broen Home in Fergus Falls, MN after living with thyroid cancer for over 20 years.

Deborah (Debbie) was born on October 21, 1951, in Fergus Falls, MN the daughter of LaVilla “Lou” (Rieken) Nelson and Harold Nelson. She was baptized and confirmed at Trinity Lutheran Church in Fergus Falls. She attended McKinley Elementary and graduated from Fergus Falls High School in 1970. She took courses at Fergus Falls Community College and earned a secretarial certificate. On June 19, 1971, she was united in marriage to the love of her life, Dennis Carl Johnson. They chose to raise their family in Bemidji, MN and had two children, Kerry L. (Johnson) Wilcox and Keith M. Johnson. Debbie worked as a bookkeeper for many years always choosing part-time work so she could have more time home with her children. Debbie and Dennis resided in Bemidji for over 40 years before moving back to Fergus Falls in May of 2019.

Debbie was an award-winning fiber artist. In addition to spinning, weaving, and knitting she enjoyed caring for her flower gardens, bird watching, fishing, and camping. As a lifelong learner, she could always be found with her nose in a book and cat in her lap; she was always the smartest one in the room. Debbie was a member of the Headwaters Spinners & Weavers Guild, Friends of the Bemidji Public Library, was a volunteer bookkeeper for the library’s Red Door Bookstore, a founding member of the Bemidji Animal Shelter, served on many boards at First Lutheran Church in Bemidji, and volunteered at the church library of First Lutheran Church in Fergus Falls. Debbie was the definition of an introvert, but she touched the lives and hearts of many people once she got to know them.

Debbie was called to live with the Lord on June 21, 2023, the longest day of the year, which suits her because her light shined so brightly. She attained 71 years and 8 months of age. She is survived by her husband, Dennis C. Johnson of Fergus Falls, children Kerry (Benjamin) Wilcox of Benson, Keith (Elizabeth Andrews) Johnson of Bemidji, her grandchildren Gwendolyn Wilcox, Joseph Wilcox and Petra Johnson, her sisters Cyndi (Tom) Johnson and Becky Nelson, and her niece Jessica Deinert and nephew Eric Johnson.

She was preceded in death by her mother, LaVilla “Lou” Nelson.

Blessed be the memory of Deborah Ann Johnson.

A Celebration of Life service will be held at a later date.

Assistance provided by Olson Funeral Home in Fergus Falls.
Online condolences may be sent to
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