Howard Sherman “Bud” Johnson, 71, a retired farmer of Great Falls, formerly of East Conrad, died of cancer at the Peace Hospice in Great Falls on May 8. Funeral services were held May 13, at Golden West Lutheran Church.
Howard was born June 3, 1938 in Norma, N.D. to Thelma and Sanford Johnson. As a child he lived in rural Kenmare on the family farm. He attended country school and graduated from Dakota Lutheran Academy in Minot, N.D. Following high school he enlisted in the United States Marine Corps and was stationed at Camp Pendleton in San Diego, Calif., and was honorably discharged in 1958. He then worked at Rohr Aircraft in Riverside, Calif. On Nov. 14, 1959, he married his high school sweetheart, Bernice Myrvold, and they moved to Bernice’s parent’s farm east of Conrad. After working with Bernice’s father for several years, they later purchased the farm and raised their three children there. He enjoyed farming, and educating his children and grandchildren about the land.
In addition to farming, he served on the Board of Directors for 3 Rivers Telephone Cooperative in Fairfield and was 3 Rivers’ President for 25 years. In 1981, he was elected to the North Central Data Cooperative in Mandan, N.D. and also served on the board of the National Information Solutions Cooperative in Lake Saint Louis, Mo. For over 25 years, Howard was a member of the Farmers Supply Cooperative, including serving as its chairman. In addition, he was a member of the local school board.
In his spare time he enjoyed elk hunting, fishing, spending time with family at their cabin near Hungry Horse Reservoir and picking huckleberries. He also liked building furniture, working on various puzzles and games, listening to country music and playing guitar. He was proud of his Norwegian heritage and would eagerly dish up a plate of lutefisk and lefse on Christmas. He loved cookies. He was skilled at machine work on the farm, and record-keeping and accounting. Howard also loved to travel and especially enjoyed a trip to the Hawaiian Islands for his 50th wedding anniversary.
Howard was a member of Golden West Lutheran Church. He had a deep Christian faith. He will be remembered for his humility, peacefulness, integrity, intelligence and unique sense of humor.
Howard was preceded in death by his parents Sanford and Thelma Johnson, his brother Ordell Johnson, and grandson Ian Howard Johnson.
Survivors include his wife of fifty years, Bernice Johnson, of Great Falls; his children Ken (Cynthia) Johnson of Conrad, Susan Goodheart of Great Falls, and Holly Lode of Harlowton; sister Shirley (Eng) Monson, Pataskala, Ohio; brothers Dennis S. Johnson (Linda), Kenmare, N.D. and Gary S. Johnson (Nancy), Miamisburg, Ohio. His grandchildren are Mariah Ball, Darin Stanley, Sheridan Johnson, Carmen, Lorelei and Nicole Goodheart, Faith, Zachary, Joshua and Ashlee Birnel, and Lane and Lacee Lode. His great-grandchildren are Cade Ball and Daisy Stanley. He has numerous nieces and nephews, some in Canada and many cousins in Norway.
Memorials may be made to the American Cancer Society or the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation.
By Buck Traxler, I-O Editor
This past week there was a story floating around about Rep. Llew Jones using his position on the House Appropriations Committee to get $475,000 in stimulus funds for a biomass energy study and starting a company to get that money.
To fully understand the complications of the story, you have to go back almost two years when Rep. Jones and Rep. Chase Vincent of Libby had a discussion about the economic problems that Western Montana and specifically the Flathead were in.
Ultimately their conversation led to the possibility of using biomass plants (making electricity out of wood products).
Along that line Jones talked to and convinced developers from Balfore Beatty-Parson’s Brinkerhoff to visit the Flathead area to see about the possibility of establishing biomass plant(s). Brinkerhoff is the world’s largest engineering firm with over 50,000 employees and has developed energy projects spanning the globe.
REPAIR WORK — A crew from NorthWestern Energy works to remove a transformer at ITB this past week that went out of commission due to the snow storms and high winds. Photo courtesy of Brian Robinson
By Buck Traxler, I-O Editor
Wednesday the county commissioners met with Gary Hablutzel of Innovative Benefit Plans, LLC concerning insurance renewal rates for the county.
He presented renewal rates for the fiscal year beginning July 1, which will be about an eight percent increase.
Hablutzel also outlined additional benefits to the employees, one of which is the company pays the first $1,000 for CPAP equipment for those diagnosed with sleep apnea.
The commissioners will also be meeting with representatives from the MACo HealthCare Trust before making a final decision on coverage for the 2010-11 FY.