Services for Kathleen “Kitty” Filar Johnson

Obituary for Kathleen “Kitty” Filar Johnson


Kathleen “Kitty” Rosalie Filar was born on August 16, 1932 to parents, Esther (Brekke) and Adam Filar in Fosston. They lived in Gully. Kitty’s father died when she was young.  She and her mother moved to Detroit, then backed to Gully to live with her Brekke grandparents on the farm. She attended school in Gully, Gonvick and Clearbrook where Kitty completed high school in 1950.  In high school, she was active in many extracurricular activities including Glee Club, yearbook and drama.  Her mother remarried and they had three children.


On June 16, 1950 Kitty married her high school sweetheart, Vernon Johnson at the First Lutheran Church, Clearbrook.  They moved into a farm house southwest of Clearbrook, known as the Sjolander Farm. Later they purchased the farm where Kitty and Vernon have lived since. For many years, Kitty worked as a legal secretary, starting in the Clearwater County Attorney’s and Judge Melvin T. Anderson’s office. Later for attorney’s Aurel Ekvall and Ed Rasmussen. Five years ago, Kitty moved into the Good Samaritan Home in Clearbrook.


Vernon and Kitty raised three children on the farm, Rosalind, Rebecca, and Jeffrey.  Kitty enjoyed gardening, reading, and socializing with friends and family.   At Elim Lutheran Brethren Church, Kitty was an active member.   She sang in the choir, taught Sunday school and attended Women’s Mission Friends. Her faith remained strong throughout her life.


Although Kitty lived with Multiple Sclerosis for over 50 years, she had many good years.  She was determined to live her life as fully as she could despite her eventual physical limitations.  For several winters, Kitty and Vernon traveled to Florida where she would stay with her mother, Esther.


At the Good Samaritan Home, she was called “Miss Kitty” by staff who she was very fond of.  BINGO, the sing-a-longs, Bible Study and story hour were some of her favorite activities.


Kitty is survived by her husband of 67 years, Vernon Johnson, and three children, Rosalind Johnson (Jerry Fruetel) of Bloomington, Becky Johnson (Mark Ostlund) of Moorhead, and Jeff Johnson of San Diego.  She has four grandchildren; Erika (Andrew) Kraus, Andrea Fruetel (Brandon Hunter), Nathan (Alison) Prosser and Ryan (Joanna) Prosser and three step grandchildren; Jenny Jacobson, Torey Ostlund and Aaron Ostlund. Eight great grandchildren include Dylan and Stella Kraus, Bryce Hunter, Palmer and Ridley Prosser, and Elise, Siri, and Baron Prosser. Kitty is also survived by siblings, Lynette Ellesson of Minneapolis and Les (Barb) Ellesson of Still Water.


She is proceeded in death by her parents, Esther Ellesson and Adam Filar, and sister, Valerie Ellesson.


Funeral services will be held on Thursday, September 28, 2017 at 2:00 p.m. at the Elim Lutheran Brethren Church in Clearbrook, MN with the Reverend Adam Krog officiating. Visitation will be one hour prior to the services at the church.  Interment will be at the Elim Lutheran Cemetery under the direction of the Cease Family Funeral Home of Bagley.

Richards Publishing

P.O. Box 159
239 2nd Ave
Gonvick, MN 56644
Telephone: (218) 487-5225

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