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Child, father die after kayak overturns on Hart Lake in Hubbard County

Ruth Johnson

Ruth Johnson, 103, of Bemidji, died Thursday, February 12, 2009, at The Villa St. Vincent in Crookston.

Funeral services will be at 11 a.m., Wednesday at First Presbyterian Church with the Rev. James De Smidt officiating. Visitation will be one hour prior to the service at the church. Burial will be in Lakeview Cemetery in Blackduck. The Olson-Schwartz Funeral Home of Bemidji assisted the family with arrangements.

Ruth Mildred Norby was born October 6, 1905, to Ole and Mattie (Pederson) Norby in Walhalla, N.D. She moved to Canada when she was 8 years old. In 1925, she moved to Bemidji. She met and married Henry "Hank" Johnson on Oct. 29, 1927, in Morden, Manitoba, Canada. In 1933, they purchased land near Hines, Minn., where they established their farm and raised their family.

Henry died in 1951 and Ruth moved from the farm to Bemidji in 1953. Ruth went to work at J.C. Penney and would remain there until 1973. She then became Gamma Phi Beta housemother at the University of North Dakota in Grand Forks, N.D, for the next eight years. She then retired and moved back to Bemidji. In 1996 she moved to The Villa St. Vincent in Crookston and remained there until her death. She loved the outdoors, gardening and spending time at Lake Beltrami. She loved being a mother and grandmother.

She is survived by her sons, Richard (Betty Ann) Johnson of Crookston and James (Sandra) Johnson of Detroit; five grandchildren; and eight great-grandchildren.

She was preceded in death by her parents; husband, Henry; daughter, Muriel Stubfors; two sisters; and four brothers.

The family requests memorials to First Presbyterian Church of Bemidji.

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