Michelle (Larson) Johnson, a loving wife, mother, sister, and friend, passed away peacefully surrounded by her family and closest friends on May 29, 2023, after a 4-year courageous battle with cancer. Michelle was a warrior and inspiration to all.
Michelle was born in Bemidji, MN, on September 19, 1971, to Shirley Bouwman and Earl Dagestad, at six weeks premature, which we often relate to her being stubborn and a warrior of life. She was raised in Crookston, MN, the youngest of three rambunctious girls graduating with honors from Crookston High School in 1990. At a young age, Volleyball became her passion, playing at a high level in high school and collegiately at Moorhead State University from 1990-1994. A highlight of her college playing years included two trips to the NAIA National Volleyball tournament, advancing to the Elite Eight. Michelle was named NAIA All-District during the ’92-’93 seasons. Playing, coaching, and refereeing volleyball continued into her adulthood in the many years she stayed active. Anyone who knew Michelle knew she was athletically gifted. Michelle graduated from Moorhead State University in 1994 with a B.S. in Nursing.
Although she met the love of her life, Kevin Johnson (Crookston, ‘85 graduate), while growing up in Crookston, they officially began dating during her college years, eventually marrying November 19th, 1994. They then moved to Baxter, MN to begin their careers and raise a family where they had two amazing children, Kyle and Katy. Naturally, Michelle’s giving nature led her to a lifelong career in Nursing, working at Good Neighbor Home Health, where she developed solid and lasting relationships with her co-workers and clients.
Michelle’s favorite and most cherished memories included her love of traveling. Some of her most memorable travels brought her to Italy, Greece, Dominican Republic, Maine, California Pacific Coast, National Parks (Glacier & Yellowstone), as well as many tropical beach vacations. She simply loved the beach and the mountains.
For years, her summer included her love of camping at her special place, Norway Beach at Cass Lake, with their most special friends, Darin and Christy Carlstrom, and their beautiful daughters, Aubrie, Haylie, and Natalie. They were like family to the Johnson’s.
Michelle was loved dearly by her husband, Kevin Johnson, and was a very proud mother to her beloved son, Kyle Johnson-Bee (Tyler) of Lakeville, MN, and her beautiful daughter, Katy Johnson (Matt) of Baxter, MN.
Michelle is survived by her loving sisters Lisa Schumacher (Brian) of Crookston, MN, and Sherry Senske (Steele) of Glyndon, MN; sisters-in-law, Denise Staehnke (Robert) of Fosston, MN, and Eileen Obot (Louis) of Omro, WI; Brother-in-law, Keith Johnson of Moorhead, MN; mother-in-law, Gwen Johnson of Fosston, MN; and half-brothers, Danny & Earl Dagestad.
Michelle was always adored by her 14 nieces and nephews: Allison Haugstad (Donavan), Heather Schumacher (Adam); Sierra Johnk (Derek), Steele and Sam Senske; Matt (Emilee), Ben, Tommy (Beth), Trevor (Chelsey), Landon (Jazmine), and Maxwell Staehnke; and Daniel, Justin, and Amanda Obot. As well as her 13 great nieces and nephews. “Little humans,” were the apple of Michelle’s eye, always taking the time to shower them with love.
Very dear to Michelle’s heart was one of her closest friends, Karen Raguse, whom we often titled, “Sister from another mother.”
Michelle was preceded in death by her mother, Shirley Bouwman; Grandparents, Wallace & Ann Evans; and Father-in-law, Roger Johnson.
Anyone who knew Michelle knew of her love of dogs, most especially her dog Tucker, who was her soulmate of 15 years and was always faithfully by her side until his passing in February of 2023.
She will always be loved and greatly missed.