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1951 Paul 2023

Paul Johnson

August 11, 1951 — December 1, 2023


Paul Jeff Johnson, 72, of Bismarck passed away peacefully in his sleep after battling Vascular Dementia on Friday 12/1/23 surrounded by his family. 

A funeral service will be held at 10:30 AM, Friday, Dec. 8, at Good Shepherd Lutheran Church, 106 Osage Ave, Bismarck.

A gathering of friends and family will be held at 1:00 PM, Saturday, Dec. 9, at Ladbury Funeral Service, 1133 I94 Business Loop E, Dickinson.

Visitation will be held from 5:00-7:00 PM, Thursday, Dec. 7, at Parkway Funeral Service, 2330 Tyler Pkwy, Bismarck. Visitation will continue one hour prior to the service.

Burial will be held at Fairview Cemetery, Bismarck.

Paul was born in Bismarck on August 11, 1951 to Lavern Johnson and Helen (Koski) Johnson.  He grew up primarily in Tioga with a few years in Jamestown, ND while his father was a State Electrical Inspector.  The family later moved back to Tioga where Paul graduated from Tioga High School. Paul was a master electrician in the oilfield for 40+ years. He met the love of his life Terry Ann Byrne of Petersburg, ND and married June 3, 1972.  They went on to welcome two daughters, Jennifer Ann in 1975 and Amanda Sue in 1979.  Paul was lucky enough to deliver Amanda in his service truck himself en route to the hospital.  While living in Tioga, he fell in love with dirt track car racing, building a car from scratch and racing primarily in Williston, Dickinson and Minot, ND. 

In 1979 he found sobriety with the help from the Heartview Foundation in Bismarck. He ultimately reached 44 years of sobriety with the help of Alcoholics Anonymous and many friends and sponsors along the way.  He also opened a branch office for Johnson Electric, eventually getting a loan for a service truck and starting his own business, Action Electric Inc.  Over the years he was able to increase his customers by introducing slow jacks to his coverage area.  By adjusting the speed on the wells, it saved the customer money.  In 2006, he saw the oilfield ramping back up and felt that another boom was on the way.  He had to decide if Action Electric would stay small or expand.  He was hesitant because he remembered how quickly the last boom crashed but decided to take the risk.  In 2007, Terry joined him officially and they expanded the business.  Later, he perfected his idea for a variable frequency drive, VFD, which would do the work of the slow jack but do it automatically.  One of his customers liked the idea so well, they added it to every well and became Action Electrics’ primary customer.  In 2009, they had 3 employees and were able to pay off the mortgage on their house.  Six months later, their house and shop were leveled by a tornado.  Paul pieced together two work trucks and had men back to work in just 3 days.  In 7 years, they built Action Electric up to a multi-million-dollar company and sold it 1/22/14.  They retired to Bismarck, ND and wintered in Sun City West, AZ.

  Due to the nature of the oil field, even in the tough times he was able to find joy taking the girls hunting, fishing, and camping using his old camping gear from his time as a Boy Scout.  His real passion for hobbies came when he found an abandoned 1977 Honda Gold Wing motorcycle, which he was able to restore.  He owned many bikes throughout the years and enjoyed many rides with his wife and kids.  He also loved hunting deer, elk, moose, bear, and pheasants when he wasn’t walleye fishing or collecting his classic cars.

He is survived by his wife Terry, Bismarck; his daughters Jennifer (Korey) Fried, Bismarck, ND; Amanda (John) Schnaidt, Gladstone, ND; his grandchildren McKenna (Mitchel Glasser) Akovenko, Mandan; Tyler and Noah Fried, Bismarck,  ND; Piper Schnaidt, Gladstone, ND; his mother Helen (Koski) Johnson, Bismarck, ND; his siblings Linda Johnson, Bismarck, ND; Joel (Bobi) Johnson, Bloomfield, NM;  nieces and nephews, Jason (Tonia) Johnson, Mandan, ND; Josh (Dallas) Johnson, Florence, AZ; Lisa (Doyle) Hodges, Phoenix, AZ; Christina Johnson, Albuquerque, NM; along with many great nieces and nephews.  He is also survived by his uncle Duane Bjerke, Buxton, ND.

Paul was preceded in death by his father Lavern F. Johnson, Tioga, ND; brother Ronald D. Johnson, Bismarck, ND; numerous aunts and uncles: Iva Mae Bjerke, Buxton, ND; Rahua and Marvin Schumaier, Cole Harbor, ND; Elmer and Della Koski; Vieno and John Lehto; William Koski, Lauri and Edna Koski all from Wing and Bismarck area, ND; Arvo Koski, Bend, OR; Martha and Stephen Kytonen, New York Mills, MN; his grandparents Gustav and Violet Johnson, Buxton, ND and Victor and Marja Koski, Wing, ND.

Memorials can be sent to Terry Johnson, 5709 Crested Butte Rd, Bismarck, ND, 58503.

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

Service Schedule

Past Services


Thursday, December 7, 2023

5:00 - 7:00 pm (Central time)

Parkway Funeral and Cremation Service

2330 Tyler Parkway, Bismarck, ND 58503

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Funeral Service

Friday, December 8, 2023

10:30 - 11:30 am (Central time)

Good Shepherd Lutheran Church

106 Osage Ave, Bismarck, ND 58501


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Friday, December 8, 2023

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Saturday, December 9, 2023

1:00 - 2:00 pm (Central time)

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