Vernerd LeDell Johnson, 86, of Johanna Shores (Arden Hills) passed away peacefully on March 7, 2021. Vern was born in Minneapolis on January 23, 1935, to Melvin and Linnea (Johnson) Johnson. He was the third of four children. Vern graduated from Roosevelt High School in Minneapolis and pursued a career in the early days of computer programming and data processing. He spent his career working for the Minneapolis Gas Company (Minneapolis, 10 years), Salkin and Linhoff (St. Louis Park, 18 years), and Maurices (Duluth, 23 years).
Vern married Janice Maxine Ware on September 3, 1954, at the former Bethel Church in Minneapolis. Janice has always been the love of his life. There were few things Vern enjoyed more than listening to Janice sing and play the piano; even in his later years, Vern insisted Janice serenade him.
Vern was a jack of all trades and a self-taught man before there were YouTube training videos. He especially enjoyed building, auto repair, reading biographies, cooking, singing and trying to keep up with the latest technologies.
Following Vern’s retirement, he experienced a devastating brain stem stroke at the age of 68. Most of his family members were concerned that he may not live very long after the stroke. Being a strong Swede, Vern pressed forward and lived another 18 years by the grace of God. During that time, Vern enjoyed music, reading, Bible studies, sharing stories with friends old and new, and loving his grandchildren and great grandchildren.
Vern served in various roles within his church community and as a volunteer with Prison Fellowship (Duluth). Never shy about sharing his love for the Lord and the scriptures, Vern was known to be a loving and affectionate son, brother, husband, father, grandfather, and great grandfather.
One of Vern’s grandchildren said he will be remembered as “a kind shoulder to lean on, a reliable confidant, a comedian of all sorts, and an authentic man who loved the Lord.”
Vern was preceded in death by his sister, Marlys Dahlberg; eldest daughter, Cindy Silvernale, and son-in-laws Ronald Dean and Allen Cree. Vern is survived by his wife, Janice; son, Scott (Rebecca) Johnson of Reston, Virginia; daughters Susan Cree of Richfield and Cheryl (Jon) Nelson of Andover; 12 grandchildren; and 29 great grandchildren. Vern is also survived by his brothers, Kermit Johnson of Bloomington and Duane (Patricia) Johnson of Atlanta, Georgia.
A small memorial service will be held at Grace Community Bible Church, 8748 210th Street West, Lakeville, at 1pm Saturday, March 20. Masks and social distancing are required.