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Delphine “Del” Johnson | News, sports, jobs

Del was called home on April 16, 2024, after a courageous battle with chronic heart failure; just 15 days before her 100th birthday.

A Celebration of Life will take place on Tuesday, May 7, 2024 at 2:00 PM at the Celebration Center in Friendship Haven.

Del was born in Nekoma, North Dakota on May 1, 1924; a special May 1st gift for her parents. She was 100% Norwegian and very proud of that heritage. She lived in Edmore, North Dakota; growing up where her father was a blacksmith. As a young girl, riding on the back of her father’s tractor, she fell and was dragged by a well digger and almost lost her life.

Del was a high school basketball star and member of the pep squad. According to her classmates, she was the best dancer around, especially when it came to the Jitterbug. She loved it so much that she continued to dance all her life. After high school, Del moved to Grand Forks, ND, where they and her cousin were the best waitresses at the Uptown Cafe. She always earned the most tips and said to just be nice to people and if you see someone without a smile, give them one of yours. Delphine was married to Leland “Lee” Johnson on November 4, 1949 in Michigan, ND. They were blessed to share and celebrate 64 years of marriage. She was a 75-year member of the American Legion Auxillary Post 21 in Lakota, ND, the American Bowling Association and the Lakota Lutheran Church. She worked for many years at JCPenney and Sears, where she was a diligent worker and performed her duties with precision and care. Del made it a point to be in style and still be smartly dressed at the age of 99.

Del is survived by her children, Connie Johnson (Deb Huff) of Apple Valley, CA, Ardy Rydell (James) of Waterloo, and Casey Johnson (Debra) of Fort Dodge; grandchildren, Krissy Halbur (Matt) of Cedar Falls, Matt Johnson (Abigail) of Fort Dodge, Nick Johnson (Jordan) of West Des Moines; great-grandchildren, Haylie and JoJo Halbur, Isabella and Max Johnson, and Sloan Johnson; her sister, Grace Sateren; several nieces and nephews; and many dear friends, including Ginger Kondrath whom she loved dearly.

She was preceded in death by her husband, Lee Johnson, who died on her 90th birthday; her parents, Olvin “A.J.” and Inga (Olsen) Walden; day-old baby twin brothers; and sisters, Faye Beaudoin, Joyce Schwab and Gail Ritteman; nephew, Larry Reynolds and niece, Tracy Schwab.

Del would like everyone to remember her motto “Always be kind to each other”.

Special thanks from her family to Deb Gray and the staff of Friendship Haven at Simpson Healthcare Center for their exceptional and tender care.

Memorials may be left to the Friendship Haven Good Samaritan Fund or the American Legion Auxillary Post 21 in Lakota, North Dakota.