Weather Forecast


Dexter Johnson, 74

Dexter W. Johnson, 74, of Fargo, ND passed away peacefully at home on Thursday, February 26, 2009, surrounded by his loving family.

Dexter was born near Osakis on October 2, 1934 to Willard and Hilda (Nelson) Johnson. He attended grade school at a country school near the family farm and graduated from Osakis High School in 1951. Following a two-year enlistment in the U.S. Army, Dexter attended North Dakota State Agricultural College, graduating first with a bachelor of science degree in 1960, then a master of science degree in agricultural engineering in 1961. His commitment to continuing education earned him a doctorate in education from Oregon State University in 1984.

Dexter and Anna Marie (Haugen) were married on Thanksgiving Day, November 28, 1957 at Elbow Lake.

Dexter devoted his life to helping others. He began a long and rewarding career with the North Dakota State Cooperative Extension Service in 1961, retiring as section head of Extension Agricultural Engineering and was named Professor Emeritus in 1987. His passions included farmstead planning, structure design and John Deere tractors. As a registered professional engineer, Dexter pioneered modern design applications for commodity storage and tirelessly researched the beginnings of modern grain storage structures.

Dexter was a member of Messiah Lutheran Church, The American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers, the Sons of Norway, and the Swedish Cultural Heritage Society. In the mid-1990s, Dexter volunteered to serve with the Volunteers for Overseas Community Assistance Program (VOCA) in Latvia (1994) and Belarus (1998), bringing much needed technological assistance to these emerging democracies.

Dexter is survived by his devoted wife of 51 years, Anna Marie; daughter, Jann M. (Bill) Parker of Billings, MT; son, Russell (Lori) Johnson of Nampa, ID; granddaughters, Marah and Ciera Johnson; sisters, DeLores Gillan and Sonja (Allen) Starry, both of Osakis; many nieces and nephews.

Funeral services were held Tuesday morning, March 3 at Messiah Lutheran Church.

Committal service was Tuesday afternoon, March 3 at Salem Lutheran Church in rural Osakis. Burial was at Salem Lutheran Church Cemetery in Osakis.

Arrangements are with Runsvold Funeral Home in Fargo, North Dakota; online guest book is at