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Dorothy Witmer Johnson


Last updated 2/5/2020 at 4:48pm | View PDF

Dorothy Witmer Johnson, 93, of Minot, N.D., passed away Jan. 29, 2020, at the Benedictine Living Center in Garrison, N.D., surrounded by her husband, Weyburn and son, Wayne, as the BLC’s nurse and spiritual director provided compassionate guidance and care.

Dorothy was born in 1926, along with her twin sister, Doris, to John and Sylvia Witmer. The twins and their three siblings — Helen, Beulah and Raymond — grew up on a farm near Brown City, Mich. Dorothy attended a one-room country schoolhouse and then graduated co-salutatorian in a class of 46 students from Brown City High School. She graduated from Chicago Evangelistic Institute, and subsequently earned a bachelor’s degree from Central Michigan University.

She worked in Detroit for a few months before marrying the Rev. Weyburn Johnson in June 1949. Last June she and Weyburn celebrated 70 years of marriage.

Dorothy was a partner in ministry with her husband throughout her life. Following marriage, they attended the Missionary Medical course at Biola University for a year, whereupon they were accepted by the United Missionary Society (World Partners USA) as missionaries to India. They left for India in November 1950 and served for 18 years. Their duties included village evangelism and teaching in a Bible school in rural Bengal. Later they moved to Calcutta to work with Evangelical Literature Depot, publishing Christian literature in regional languages and managing its bookstore. Dorothy worked alongside her husband in this ministry.

In 1969 the Johnsons departed India, primarily to assist their sons as they went through college during what were tumultuous years for youth. The couple moved to Wheaton in July 1973. Dorothy worked for 14 years in various capacities on the staff of Greater Europe Mission.

When Weyburn worked as director of business affairs for Christ Church of Oak Brook, she was a volunteer assisting him greatly in his heavy responsibilities. She especially complemented him in his responsibilities in managing the church’s bookstore.

She lovingly cared for Weyburn’s mother, who lived with them in their home the last four years of her life. In 1996 they returned to India for four months of ministry. They were active in volunteering for Christ Church, assisting in the business office and offering pastoral care to the elderly and to patients in hospitals.

In October 2013 they moved to Minot to be near family. They continued to serve God as members of Vincent United Methodist Church.

Dorothy enjoyed time with her family and friends and contacted them regularly by phone, letter and email. She thoroughly read the newsletters from many parachurch organizations to which she and Weyburn contributed. Her warmth, love for people and compassion were most appreciated by family and friends.

She was preceded in death by her son, David.

She is survived by her loving husband, Weyburn; her sons (all born in India), Donald (Patricia) and Wayne (Mary); her nine grandchildren, Erik, Kevin (Zac), Samuel (Katy), Anna (Brent), Simone (Ryan), Sylvia, Paul, Jared and Aaron (Jennifer); and seven great-grandchildren, Lillian, Sophia, Clara, Abigail, Rori, Sorrell and Finn.

The funeral service is at 11 a.m. Saturday, Feb. 8, at Vincent United Methodist Church, 1024 Second St. SE, Minot.

Interment will be at a later date at Riverview Cemetery in Washburn, N.D.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to The Philip Endowed Scholarship Fund, c/o Taylor University, 236 W. Reade Ave., Upland, IN 46989-1001 or to Vincent United Methodist Church, 1024 Second St. SE, Minot, ND 58701.

Memories and condolences can be shared online at


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