Cover photo for Barbara Lou Johnson's Obituary
Barbara Lou Johnson Profile Photo

Barbara Lou Johnson

March 22, 1937 — February 7, 2020

Barbara Lou Johnson

Barbara Lou (Ackerman) Johnson

On February 7th, 2020, Our Lord came and peacefully took His beloved daughter Barbara Lou Johnson. She passed away in Cando, North Dakota with her children, Grandson Weston and Sister In-law Bonnie by her side.  Barbara was a devoted wife of 55 years to her best friend and husband Merwyn Wilton Johnson whom she lost on September 25, 2019. Barbara Lou was a devoted Catholic, strong in prayer, independent, sentimental, caring and helpful to her children, family, friends and community.

Barbara would have been 83 years on March 22, 2020. She was born in 1937 to Hannah Marie Thompson and Charles Ackerman in Kenmare, Ward County of North Dakota on their family farm. She had 3 older siblings, brother Robert Ackerman, and 2 sisters Harriet Ackerman and Virginia Schmitz.
Barbara graduated High School from St. Leo’s School and attended Minot State College from 1955 to 1960. She was on the Presidents Honor Roll, Alumni of the Beta Theta Sorority and Graduated on June 3rd, 1960 with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Education, Speech Correction and Minored in Home Economics. She received her Public Instruction Certificate License from the State of North Dakota on February 7th, 1964. Her early work career Barbara taught speech therapy on the Indian Reservation at Fort Totten, ND and on Mercer Island in the State of Washington for King County School District. Some of her fond memories shared was babysitting for her sister, watching over Nancy, Chuck, Randy, Jimmy and Jane Schmitz. Her dad was a train engineer for the Great Burlington Railroad and on his days off they would go to their family farm in Kenmare. Her mother Hannah was an excellent baker and Barbara’s favorite treat was her homemade caramel rolls.
In the summer of 1963 Barbara met Merwyn in Esmond, N.D. they were married a year later on July 25, 1964 in Devils Lake at St. Josephs Church. They moved and lived most of their lives on the west coast in the town of Kirkland, Washington where they raised their 3 children; daughter, Tracy Ann Taylor born in July of 1965, 2 sons, Charles (Chuck) Norris Johnson born March 17, 1967 and Robert Merwyn Johnson born on New Years Eve in 1969. Barbara was a fun loving mom, involved in her children’s school functions, took them to Sunday Services at Holy Family Church, she was Blue Bird Leader, PTA Parent, grew flowers, taught the children how to grow a garden and gave them daily and weekly chores. She read to her kids, prayed for and with her kids. She made home cooked meals, shared recipes with family and friends. Barbara was always running back and forth for her kids to soccer games, tennis matches, baseball, softball, basketball, football games and wrestling matches. Barbara and Merwyn were both musical and loved to entertain. Barbara played the trumpet throughout school and played on the basket ball team. Merwyn played the saxophone and organ. Together they often entertained at home and got the kids to play an instrument or sing along with their friends. Barbara loved to decorate her house she often moved her furniture around. One night her kids remembering dad came home and tried to sit down in his chair and the chair had been moved, the kids laughed when they heard Merwyn yell when he hit the floor. Merwyn was a wonderful provider for his lovely bride. He would go pick out beautiful clothes for his wife with his daughter and have them wrapped up for Christmas and her birthday. Barbara always dressed nice for her husband. Barbara returned to work after the kids graduated and worked for a Micro disc company as a night auditor and manager for 20 years.
Both Barbara and Merwyn enjoyed bowling, family camping and riding dirt bikes. Yes the whole family, even Barbara rode motorcycles. Every summer they went camping, took their family back to North Dakota to visit with family and friends on the Farm and her mother in the city of Minot. Together they loved to dance and entertain at their home. Her favorite song was by George Straight, “ I just want to dance with you”. When they danced together it was like they were gliding across the dance floor. She was an excellent seamstress and crocheted hundreds of blankets, hats and dishtowels for gifts and donations.
Barbara was a member of the Kirkland Eagles Women’s Auxiliary AERIE 2681 where she raised thousands of dollars for the American Heart Association and Local Kids. Organized bazaars, bake sales, rummage sales and Casino Nights for fundraising for the Eagles Building Fund. Several times both Barbara and Merwyn were honored as Outstanding Eagle Family of the Year.

In 2005, Merwyn and Barbara decided to move back to the state of North Dakota were they both were born. They chose the small town of Cando, North Dakota. It was a good place evenly placed between their children and grandkids at the time that lived in Wisconsin and Washington. Together they were long time friends and enjoyed their retirement life playing cards, Rummy and Pinochle. They won a few tournaments in Minot and had fun meeting up with family at the Johnson farm to play cards and visit. They also supported the local Cando ball games and cheering on the “Bearcat” kids traveling to see them by bus with their friends Harlan and LaVonne. Barbara learned how to paint on China from LaVonne when she was 70 years old, and she was an excellent painter. Barbara made friends where ever she went or patronized. She still kept in contact with her bridesmaids, and friends from Washington. She was on a texting bases with her priest, Father Musgrave. Her local friends and businesses of Cando loved Barbara and she will be missed by many who knew her heart and humor.

She is preceded in death by her husband, Merwyn, both her parents, Hannah and Charles Ackerman, Sisters, Harriet Ackerman, Virginia and Bernard Schmitz and brother Robert and Jean Ackerman. In-laws, Florence and Norris Johnson, Sister in-law Betty Lou and Marlo Bergsguard, Sister-in Law Lois Johnson and Judy Johnson, Brother in-law Gary Ness and Bill Wright, Nephew Robbie Ness and Grandson Joshua Evarts.
She is survived by their 3 children; daughter, Tracy Ann Taylor and husband Thomas Lee Wigen, 2 sons, Charles (Chuck) Norris Johnson and Robert Merwyn Johnson. 4 grandchildren; Clayton Alan Taylor (resides in Wisconsin) and Weston Scott Taylor (Washington), Mitchell Dean Johnson (Washington) his family Christina and daughter Olivia Marie and Sophia Raquel Johnson (Washington) her family Keller Holland and baby boy, Hudson to be expected in April. Merwyn’s Brothers and Sisters; Glenn Johnson, Darrell Johnson, Jerry Johnson and wife Bonnie, Noreen Wright, Kathy and husband Dave Bjornstad, Deanna and husband Darryl Gotvaslee, Lanny Johnson, Lori and husband Doran Nelson. And many nieces and nephews.


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Past Services

Mass of Christian Burial

Saturday, February 15, 2020

Starts at 10:00 am (Central time)

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