Lisa Marie Johnson was born November 15, 1955 and died July 5, 2021 in Fargo, ND. Lisa was born to Ralph and Alice (Larson) Johnson and grew up on the family farm north of Casselton. She attended Central Cass High School and was active in both academic and sports groups. Lisa loved sports and participated in basketball and softball for the Squirrels as well as serving as the men’s basketball statistician. She was a smart kid and was Salutatorian of her 1974 senior class and. She was the first North Dakota woman to be awarded a full four-year Army ROTC scholarship and attended North Dakota State University.
Lisa was a member of Kappa Kappa Gamma sorority at NDSU and graduated with a degree in Pharmacy. She entered active duty at Fort Carson, Colorado Springs, CO and her next posting was Wuerzburg Army Hospital, Wuerzsburg, Germany.
Lisa loved fast cars and discovering the autobahn when posted in Germany only fueled that passion. She drove Volkswagen GTIs, Ford turbos, and Audis…her middle name should have been Mario, not Marie. She learned to ski in the Alps and became an excellent downhiller.
Her Army career took her to the William Beaumont Medical Center at Fort Bliss, El Paso, TX. She then went to war as part of Desert Storm where her medical group set up camp (in tents) in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. Lisa had numerous stories about donning full gas suits at night when the chemical weapons sirens would sound, sand in everything, working with the French and British medical units, and treating the local Arab population. She was jump-qualified after successfully completing three parachute jumps. The team had to be ready to go if called and she was a person who was always ready.
Returning to the US, Lisa served at Fort Riley, Manhattan, KS. Her final posting was at Fort Gordon, Augusta, GA. She was deployed to Honduras during this last posting as part of the Army’s medical mission for humanitarian assistance. Lisa retired from the Army in 1999 with the rank of Major after twenty years of service.
Lisa loved animals. Her bulldogs, Bubba & Tuff, and her cat, Wildman, lived sweet lives and wanted for nothing! She was a sportswoman and an avid runner, hiker, skier, road biker, and golfer. She supported the local college teams wherever she was posted, particularly women’s athletics. She loved classical music (she had a huge CD collection!) and supported both the opera and symphony in her local communities. Lisa liked the very best and only drank Macallan single malt.
Returning to Fargo from Colorado Springs in 2003, she actively supported Bison women’s hoops and volleyball as well as Bison football.
Lisa fought hard against Multiple Sclerosis, the disease that eventually took her life. She never complained about her situation which quickly progressed from a cane to an electric cart (fast) to an electric wheelchair (faster) to complete disablement. It was a sad day when she could no longer use her mouse hand to run a computer or maneuver her chair. The last years were a struggle for someone who was always so active, but we take comfort that she is at full speed again.
She is survived by her sisters Vicki Johnson, Fargo and Barbara (Billy) Baumgartner, Breckenridge, MN and a brother Ralph “RD” Johnson, Casselton, ND. Lisa was member of Westminster Presbyterian Church. The family would like to thank Wanda Roden for her steadfast friendship and the long-caring staff of Villa Maria.
Memorial Service: 11 a.m. Saturday, July 17, 2021, at Westminster Presbyterian Church, Casselton, fellowship & lunch to follow
Visitation: An hour before the service
Burial: Casselton (ND) Cemetery
Military Honors: Rugg-Heille American Legion Post #15 and Ries-Kickertz VFW Post #4655, Casselton.
West Funeral Home & Life Tribute Center