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Marlys E. Johnson

September 9, 1932 — June 7, 2024

Devils Lake

Marlys E. Johnson

Marlys E. Johnson, 91 of Devils Lake, formerly of rural Wolford, ND passed away on Friday, June 7, 2024 at Eventide Heartland Care Center.

Funeral Services for Marlys will be held on Saturday, June 15, 2024 at 11:00 a.m. at the Gilbertson Funeral Home Chapel, Devils Lake ND with Reverend Jim Sorum officiating. Burial will be at the Island Lake Cemetery, rural Rolette ND.

Marlys Evonne Haagenson, the daughter of Bennie and Alice (Ness) Haagenson and twin sister to Marlene was born on September 9, 1932 at Rolette, North Dakota. Her childhood was spent on a farm south of Rolette with her siblings Boyd, Opal and Marlene. This place along with Ox Creek Lutheran Church always brought joy to her heart.

Marlys graduated from Rolette High School with the class of 1950. She continued her education at Minot State Teacher’s College, earning a Bachelor’s Degree in Education and later a Master’s Degree in Education at UND, Grand Forks, ND.

She was united in marriage to Lowel A. Johnson on October 8, 1955 in Rolette. They spent their lives together on the Caledonia Farm, northwest of Wolford. Marlys’s taught several years at the one-room Union Township School at rural Rolette. She then began a 27 year teaching career at Turtle Mountain Elementary School in Belcourt ND.

Teaching was Marlys’s passion. She loved her job and she especially loved the children in her care all those years of teaching.

Marly’s had many talents and many simple pleasures that brought her great joy. She loved music and played organ at Ox Creek Lutheran Church for many years. She always had a music room in her home, and found great peace and comfort in music. She never turned down a chance to play board games or cards and was always very competitive. Many evenings were spent watching basketball on TV. She knew players names and stats. She never had a favorite team, she usually followed the winningest team of the season.

Marlys and Lowell did share a great interest in the Hawk Museum, that Lowell was one of its founders. They dedicated many hours to making it a well-known attraction throughout the country. Marlys enjoyed membership in Lambda Thela Alpha Society.  In the fall of 2015, after Lowell’s death on March 23, 2015, Marlys moved to Devils Lake to be closer to her twin sister Marlene and Marlene’s family.

Of course you never saw Marlys without a faithful canine companion by her side.

Marlys leaves behind her loving family of nieces and nephews: MariDon (Jack) Sorum, Michael (Nancy) Tollefson, Marco (Julie) Tollefson, Marty (Stephanie) Tollefson, Becky Thompson, Larry (Jan) Haagenson, Paul Haagenson, Miriam (Mark Kilpatrick) Campbell, Mary Beth (Bob) Berg, Eric (Deb) Campbell, Jon (Ginny) Campbell, Kent Campbell, David (Lori) Peterson and Brian (Maria) Peterson and many great nieces and great nephews and their families.

She was preceded in death by her husband Lowell, parents, twin sister Marlene Tollefson and sister Opal (David) Campbell, brother Boyd (Elna) Haagenson, step son Randy Peterson, niece and nephews Sandra Tofsrud -Luder, David Haagenson and Ronnie Thompson.

A special thank you to the staff at Eventide for their loving care of our Aunt Marlys.

Following the funeral service, everyone is invited to share a meal and fellowship in the dining hall at Our Savior’s Lutheran Church, Devils Lake. The meal will be service by Marlys’s great nieces and great nephews in her memory.



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