Cover photo for Betty Ann Johnson's Obituary
1927 Betty 2022

Betty Ann Johnson

September 12, 1927 — April 6, 2022

Betty Ann Johnson, 94, a longtime resident of Crookston, passed away April 6, 2022 with her loving family at her side.

Betty Ann was born September 12, 1927 in Aneta, ND, one of three children from the marriage of Melvin “Mike” Tangen and Paula (Thorson) Tangen.  Betty Ann was baptized and confirmed at Trinity Lutheran Church in Esmond, ND, where she grew up.  She graduated from Esmond High School in 1945 and then earned a Bachelor’s degree in Education at the University of North Dakota in 1949.  While at UND, she was a proud member of the Delta Zeta sorority and active in the YWCA organization.  She began her teaching career at Blackduck High School and it was in Blackduck where she met the love of her life, Richard “Richie” Norby Johnson and the two were united in marriage June 27, 1953 at Fisher Lutheran Church in Fisher, MN.  They made their first home in Blackduck and in 1959 moved to Crookston. They were blessed with two children-a daughter, Nancy, and a son, Roderick.  Betty Ann taught Business and Physical Education classes for 29 years at Crookston Central High School.  She completed her Master’s degree in Business in 1978 from Bemidji State University and in 1990 announced her retirement after a fulfilling 38 year career in education.

Betty Ann and Richie were longtime members at Trinity Lutheran Church where she taught Sunday School and was a a member of WELCA.  Betty Ann was an avid reader throughout her life and the Crookston Public Library was a familiar haunt as she sought the latest “reads” from the best seller’s list.  Betty Ann was a member of the Crookston Book Club, PEO, Matrons and the Golf Terrace Fine Arts Club.  Betty Ann loved playing bridge and through the years played with many wonderful groups.  Golfing with friends and family at Minakwa Country Club was a summer ritual and passion with many laughs shared.  Betty Ann and Richie were role models as parents and provided a warm, welcoming, and loving home for their children and friends of their children.

Betty Ann and Richie enjoyed the time they shared in retirement as they continued to make memories with their immediate and extended families and friends.  Betty Ann thoroughly enjoyed her retirement hobbies of golf, card playing, bike riding, reading and traveling, but the number one priority in life was being a grandmother to her five grandchildren.  Her dedication and devotion to the grandchildren was unparalleled.  She loved them fiercely and unconditionally each and every moment of her life.

Betty Ann was an education advocate who believed in helping her students.  She spent years tutoring students, advising cheerleaders, selling tickets at all sporting events, and providing encouragement and words of advice.  She was a strong supporter of women’s and men’s athletics. Betty Ann took pride in all the students who thanked her for teaching them how to type or use a keyboard.  Betty Ann enjoyed Facebook and was a “friend” to many.

Betty Ann treasured the extra special care, visits, and friendship provided by nieces Paulette Wagner, Cyndy Urness, and Marsha Efta for she and Richie during the later part of their lives.

Betty Ann will be lovingly remembered by her daughter and son-in-law, Nancy and Rod Nelson of Bemidji, MN; son and daughter-in-law Rod and Margaret Johnson of Goodyear, AZ; 5 grandchildren: Melissa (Jeff) Perreault of Crookston, MN, Kelley (Gregory) Owens of Portland, OR, Jacob (Nanah) Nelson of Los Angeles, CA, Caitlin (Kevin) Sheehy of Avon, OH, and Matthew (Alyssa) Johnson of Athens, GA; brother, Dennis Tangen of Bemidji, MN; bother-in-law and sister-in-law James “Jim” and Sandy Johnson of Pontiac, MI and her many nieces, nephews, extended family and friends.  In addition to Richie, her beloved husband of 67 years, Betty Ann was preceded in death by her parents, sister and brother-in-law, Marilyn and Willis Wagner; sister-in-law Helen Tangen, nephew David Tangen; parents -in-law Henry “Hank” and Ruth Johnson, and sister-in-law and brother-in-law, Muriel and Howard Stubfors.

May God richly bless the memory of Betty Ann Johnson.

A memorial service honoring the life of Betty Ann Johnson will be held on Friday, June 17 at 11:00 am at Trinity Lutheran Church in Crookston, MN.  A private burial will be held at a later date at Lakeview Cemetery in Blackduck, MN.  Memorials may be given in Betty Ann’s name to the Crookston Public Library or Trinity Lutheran Church.

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

Service Schedule

Past Services

Memorial Service

Friday, June 17, 2022

Starts at 11:00 am (Central time)

Trinity Lutheran Church (Crookston)


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