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Nicholas Johnson

Nicholas Andrew Johnson, 17, Lincoln, passed away Aug. 3, 2018, at his home. Funeral services will be held at 11 a.m. Thursday, Aug. 9, at Parkway Funeral Service, 2330 Tyler Parkway, Bismarck. Visitation will be held from 5 to 7 p.m. Wednesday, at Parkway Funeral Service. Cremation has taken place.

Nicholas was born on Feb. 17, 2001, in Bismarck, to Kristen (Gross) and Mark Johnson. He attended Roosevelt Elementary School in Mandan, and Will Moore Elementary, Wachter Middle School, and Bismarck High School, where he was an honor roll student and member of the National Honor Society.

A study in contrasts might best describe our son, grandson, nephew, cousin, friend, and brother, Nicholas. He was an intense, detail-oriented and inquisitive student, who was fun loving, silly, and an inveterate smart ass. Nick enjoyed being on the receiving end of some good-natured ribbing as much as he liked dishing it out.

He was a disciplined fitness enthusiast who lived to lift weights and work out. He had two gym memberships, and would never drink a soda, but would shovel in handfuls of cereal straight out of the box while at work. He was an accomplished practitioner of the martial arts, earning his black belt in Sanano Martial Arts System Karate. Nick loved sharing his knowledge and skill as an instructor or “sempai” at his local dojo.

A driven competitor, Nick always wanted to win, whether it was solving a math problem, getting good grades, playing a video game or sparring at the dojo, yet he was also a gifted teacher who was very patient with his younger students and was extremely proud of them when they were able to master a complicated move.

He was a showman who loved to tell a good story and to ham it up on the microphone when driving the zoo train. Nick could make anything funny. He enjoyed a good joke and…moo…(interrupting cow) would tell them incessantly, often making his way back to the person that originally told him with “I’ve got a joke for you...”

Nick liked hanging out with his friends and family, listening to hip-hop and classic rock music, dancing the Macarena, singing around the campfire with his cousins, and movies, especially classic and award winning titles. He could quote movie lines at great length. Nick thought the Godfather series was perfect until they ruined it with Godfather 3.

He loved expensive tennis shoes but hated shopping, although if his mom needed someone to accompany her to the store, he would always go along, if only to embarrass her by skipping down the aisles like a 5-year-old.

He liked creating with Legos, hoarded flashlights all around his room, loved his faithful dog, Star, and his job driving the train and selling concessions at Dakota Zoo. Nick couldn’t get enough of reporting on the antics of the baby Dall sheep and other little ones at the zoo as he drove the train.

Nicholas was a studious, fit, competitive, fun loving goofball who brought joy to the lives of his friends and family and we will miss him dearly.

Nick is survived by his mother and step-father, Kristen and Mike Maples; father, Mark Johnson; step-brother, Austin Maples; half-sisters, Alexis and Emily Zastoupil; step-sisters, Caitlin and Sierra Maples; grandparents, Carol (Tom) Schneider, Leroy (Nancy) Gross, and Virgil and Mary Johnson; aunts, Cynthia Landenberger, and Colleen Johnson; uncles, Corey (Amanda) Gross, John Johnson, and Dan Johnson; cousins, Matthew and Virgil Johnson, Lisa (Richard) Whiteing, Sarah (Nick) Vaughan, James and Zoe Whiting, and Tanner and Tyanna Fulliam, David (Brenna) Johnson and their children, Liam, Dane, Soren and Sophie, and Maggie (Ryan) Miller; and godfather, Larry Klemer.

In lieu of flowers, the family prefers memorials in Nick’s name to the Dakota Zoo.

Go to to share memories of Nick and sign the online guest book.

the life of: Nicholas Johnson
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