Ernest "Ernie" Johnson

September 30, 1956 ~ December 30, 2021 (age 65)


Ernest “Ernie” Johnson, “Waabishkaa Gekek” which means White Hawk, of the Bear Clan, age 65, of Max, MN began his spiritual journey on Thursday, December 30, 2021, at the St. Mary’s Hospital in Duluth, MN.  He was born on September 30, 1956, in Cass Lake, the son of Samuel Johnson, Sr. and Rose (Wakonabo) Johnson.

Ernie was very dedicated to his career at the Bug School for over 30+ years.  He was in charge of operations and maintenance and enjoyed making sure that everyone was taken care of.  He later took the demanding position of janitor and continued to make sure the school ran properly.  Ernie was the type of guy who couldn’t sit still and always needed something to keep him busy.  The only exception to this rule was either a Twins game or a Vikings game, then you could find him with his eyes glued to the T.V. for the entire game.  Ernie was a little league coach who also enjoyed playing softball and baseball before he got too old.  He loved spending time with his family, especially his grandsons.  Ernie would always share his wonderful sense of humor with everyone and stop everything to help people out.  In his spare time, he would pick boughs and do some ricing, but his passion was to wheel and deal cars and get his sister Carol to always bite on one of his exceptional finds.  Ernie will be missed by all his family and friends.

The family that Ernie joins again are his parents; Sam and Rose Johnson, son; Daniel, sisters; Anna, Mary Jane, and Peanuts, brother; Richard “Dicky” and infant granddaughter; Montana.

Those he leaves behind to cherish his memory are his lifelong partner, best friend and wife; Donna (Rushman) Johnson, children; Delbert, Sr., Marion, Izetta, Emma Johnson, Samantha (Curtis) LaRoque, Kris, Lyla, Rosemary (Jeremy) Thompson, and Ernest, Jr. (Anna) Johnson, grandsons he raised as his own; Aaron, Deshuan, Ernest, Elias, Trenton, Tristian and David, sisters; Donna Cloud, Sherry (Gordon) Stevens, Betty Jenkins, and Carol Johnson, brother; Sam Johnson, Jr., many grandchildren, great grandchildren, and many other relatives.

A wake for Ernie will begin at 6:00 p.m., Monday, January 3, 2022, and will continue until the 10:00 a.m. service on Tuesday, January 4, 2022, all held at the S. Lake Community Center/Fire Hall in S. Lake.  Spiritual advisor will be Adrian Liberty.  Pallbearers will be Curt LaRoque, Jeremy Thompson, Ben Bowstring, William “Chilli” Bowstring, Glen Fineday, Phil Johnson, Tom Jenkins, and Tony Jenkins, Jr.  Alternate pallbearer will be Mikey Allen, Jr.  Interment will be held in the George Johnson Memorial Cemetery at Winnie Dam.

Ernie’s care has been entrusted to the Northern Peace Funeral Home of Walker, MN.  Online condolences for the family may be given at 

To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Ernest "Ernie" Johnson, please visit our floral store.


January 3, 2022

6:00 PM
Squaw Lake Fire Hall
51272 State Highway 46
Squaw Lake, MN 56681

Traditional American Indian Service
January 4, 2022

10:00 AM
Squaw Lake Fire Hall
51272 State Highway 46
Squaw Lake, MN 56681

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