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Richard E. Johnson

Richard E. Johnson, 79, of Walhalla, ND passed away Friday, March 11, 2016 at the Pembina County Memorial Hospital in Cavalier, ND.

Richard was born October 31, 1936 in Cavalier County to Joseph and Gladys (Swenson) Johnson. He grew up in the Pembina Gorge area of Cavalier County. Following his graduation from Langdon High School, he farmed in Ramsey County where he met his future wife, Judith. After attending North Dakota State University for two years he then continued and graduated from Mayville State College with his Bachelor of Science Degree. He taught school in Lancaster, MN for two years and then in the Grand Forks School District for 11 years. While teaching in Grand Forks, he received his Master’s Degree from the University of North Dakota and also, during that time, started to establish Frost Fire Ski and Summer Resort near Walhalla in the Pembina River Gorge. In December of 1976, Richard and Judith opened the ski area which continues in its 41st year of skiing and live theatre events.

On August 20, 1961, Richard married Judith E. Landsem at St. Han’s Church near Edmore, ND. He is survived by his wife, Judith; one son, Jay Richard (Delane) Johnson of Langdon, ND; grandsons: Joshua, Christian, and Jens Johnson; siblings: Lorraine Hell of Seattle, WA, Lee Johnson of Green Valley, AZ, and Larry Johnson of Walhalla, ND; and many nieces and nephews. Preceding him in death were his parents.

A memorial service will be held on Wednesday, March 16, 2016 at 10:30 a.m. at the Brooks Funeral Home, Langdon, ND. Visitation will be held for one hour before the time of services. Everyone is invited for a time of sharing and refreshments at the Frost Fire Ski and Summer Resort on Wednesday from 12:30 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. Burial will be held Thursday, March 17th at the St. Han’s Cemetery, Edmore, ND.

To plant memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Richard Johnson, please visit our flower store.


Missing your wonderful sprit and Judith's profound creatuvity,

Mandy Joslin May 30 2017 12:00 AM

Dear Judy, I don't know if you will still get this or not -- but wanted to send my sincere sympathy on the death of your husband. I love the picture that you have used. He looks like someone who is part of the "scenery" on a ski hill!! I remember being at Ben Franklin my first year, and your last year -- as you transitioned to this full time life in the beauty of the Pembina Gorge. I think of all the joy you have given to people of all ages in our area -- the chance to ski -- many learning at your place. (Both my girls skied there with their dad.) And all the young adults who have wonderful memories of performing at Frostfire -- and the "old folks" who enjoyed watching them. Our son-in-law, Miles Uhrich is among those young people who got to perform for your audiences. You surely built your dream together. I am keeping you in my prayers -- as you didn't just lose a spouse and life partner, but a business partner!! It takes a special relationship to work on your dream together for decades! I hope that knowing others are thinking of you and praying for you will be of some comfort. Wishing you God's Peace, Beth Randklev

Beth Randklev Mar 29 2016 12:00 AM

Our sympathies

Darrel and Susan Schrader Mar 17 2016 12:00 AM

So very sorry Judith and family on the loss of Dick. He was an awesome man. Always kind to everyone. He will be missed by many.

Shirley Robillard Mar 16 2016 12:00 AM

So sorry to hear of Richard's passing. Sending thoughts and prayers to his family and friends from our family.

Kathryn, Mike, Matt, Nic Martin Mar 15 2016 12:00 AM

Sending my deepest sympathy to Judith and family, Richard will be truly missed by many, I had many visits with Richard when I worked at KJ's Pizza and he would stop to get pizzas, and we will all miss seeing him at the plays.

Sue Reiser Mar 15 2016 12:00 AM

So very sorry to hear the news about Dick's passing. Condolences to Judith, Jay and family. Dick was always a class act. He was a warm and friendly person in every interaction I had with him. My memory of him is always moving and doing something, weather it was greeting others or working on some "project". What a tremendous impact he has had on so many people. Our prayers are with you in your time of sorrow.

Dean Opp and Mary Haslerud Opp Mar 15 2016 12:00 AM

Judith and family: so sorry for your loss. Dick was such a great promoter for the Rendezvous region and our communities. He was a true lover of the beautiful gorge and area. We loved the yearly theater and its talent. The gorge and Frostfire will be his lasting monument along with our memories. God bless. Don and Elaine Haugen

Don and Elaine Haugen Mar 15 2016 12:00 AM

Sad to hear about the passing of Dick. I have great memories skiing at Frostfire growing up where Dick and Judith always greeted me with a smile and were always very generous. True pioneers in the development and operation of Frostfire. Dick will always be remembered.

Chris Johnson Mar 15 2016 12:00 AM

The say the growth of a naturalist is like the growth of a musician or athlete: excellence for the talented, lifelong enjoyment for the rest, benefit for humanity. Being a naturalist Richard worked hard to make a hill a thing of beauty and enjoyment for others which will continue for a long time. I am truly sorry Judith for your loss but his work is still in them there hills.

John Bergman Mar 15 2016 12:00 AM

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