Vernice M. (Hughes) Johnson journeyed to her heavenly home on September 5, 2023 at the age of 92. Vernice was born on June 2, 1931 in rural Steele, ND to George and Helen Hughes. She graduated from Steele High School, working in several offices in the Kidder County Courthouse.

Vernice married Robert L. Johnson on July 18, 1953, in Hutchinson, Kansas, where Robert was serving in the US Naval Air Force. During Robert’s time in the Navy, they lived in Kansas and Whidbey Island, Washington. After returning to North Dakota, the couple settled in Fargo to start their family. Vernice worked at the North Dakota State University Extension Service, retiring after 33 years. She held the distinction of being a lifetime member of the National Extension Homemakers’ Council. After retirement, she assisted at Washington Elementary School as a lunchroom supervisor for 10 years. All her children and grandchildren attended Washington School.

Early in her life, Vernice was an active member of the Steele Presbyterian Church, where she was the church pianist and taught Sunday school. After marriage, she became a member of the Steele Trinity Lutheran Church. Vernice joined Hope Lutheran Church in 1962, serving on the church council for 3 years and as an officer on the Board of Hope Lutheran Church Women. Vernice taught Sunday school for several years and served on many committees.

The YWCA was very dear to Vernice’s heart. She proudly served on its auxiliary board for many years. She was also very interested in the Red River Valley Fair and served on the board for 10 years. She was a 4-H leader in Steele and Fargo, a member of the Steele Legion Auxiliary, a cub scout and brownie leader in Fargo.

Vernice was a devoted wife, mother, grandmother, and “Gigi.” Her many decades of life were filled with treasured memories of trips and time spent with family and friends. One of her greatest joys was to watch and support her children and grandchildren in activities. Her love of baking will be missed.

Vernice is survived by her daughter, Lori Johnson, Tenmile, OR; daughter-in-law, Patty Johnson, Buckeye, AZ; grandchildren, Megan (Lee) Grossman, Fargo, ND, Alaina Johnson, Fargo, ND, and Dustin (Paige) Johnson, Buckeye, AZ; great-grandchildren, Corey and Elsa Grossman and Amire “J” Logan; great-great-grandchildren, Amire Logan and Zendaia Logan; sister, Joanne Andres; sisters-in-law, Clarice Hughes, Margaret Janke, Mildred Hanson, and Bev Johnson; brother-in-law Larry (Marilyn) Johnson; many nieces and nephews and dear friends.

Vernice was preceded in death by Robert, her husband of 68 years; son, Tim Johnson; granddaughter, Sharla Johnson; great-grandson, Tristan Johnson; her parents, George and Helen Hughes; father and mother in-law, Frank and Golda Johnson; sisters, Florence Gertz and Pat Johnson; brother, Bob Hughes; nephew, Brad Hughes; brothers-in-law, Harold and Walter Johnson, Melvin Gertz, Russ Hanson, and Ray Andres.

A celebration of life ceremony will be held on Wednesday, October 25 in Fargo, ND at Hanson-Runsvold Funeral Home. Visitation begins at 9:00 am followed by a service at 10:00 am. Vernice’s service will be livestreamed on the funeral home website. Vernice will be laid to rest alongside Robert at the North Dakota Veterans Cemetery in Mandan, North Dakota.

Condolences and memories may be shared at

Arrangements entrusted to Hanson-Runsvold Funeral Home – Fargo, ND

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