Johnson, Wilfred A. “Wil” (1911-2004)

Wilfred A. Johnson, 93, Grand Forks, ND, formerly of Warren, MN, died on Saturday, March 20, 2004 at Valley Eldercare.

Wilfred A. Johnson was born on Feb. 2, 1911, on a farm near Osnabrock, ND. In 1930, he graduated from Park River Agriculture College (high school) and worked on the family farm for 2 years. He graduated from Minot State Teacher’s College with a BA degree in 1936. Wilfred taught in Des Lacs, ND, 1936-1939, and Bisbee, ND, 1939-40. Wil moved to Wishek in 1940, as band director where he met his bride, Harriet Borgen. In 1943, he accepted a teaching job in Warren, MN and began a life-long career as Warren’s Bandman. The Warren bands were well known in the state of Minnesota for earning top ratings in performance. Over the years he received many acknowledgements for his work including election by the Marshall County Fair Board committee to be honored by the Minnesota School Board Association in conjunction with the 1961 Minnesota State Fair. In 1973, Wilfred was selected as Warren’s Teacher of the Year. After 38 years of music teaching, of which 31 were in Warren, he retired in 1974. Wilfred’s wife, Harriet, completed her career as a teacher and Warren High School librarian in 1979, after which they enjoyed traveling to McAllen, TX , spending time with family and watching their 8 grandchildren grow. In 1994, Wil and Harriet moved to Grand Forks. Harriet died on Aug. 30, 1997.

Left to mourn his passing are four children; Bruce (Judy) Johnson of Grand Forks, ND, Brad (Gratia) Johnson of New Richland, MN, Diane (Myron) Danielson of Stephen, MN and Denise (Russ) Pesola of Hawley, MN and 8 grandchildren.

He was preceded in death by his parents, wife and 6 siblings.

DuBore Funeral Home

[Interred Greenwood cemetery]

Transcribed by: Cheryl Srnsky