Hylas G. Johnson, 84, died Saturday, Aug. 30, 2003, at a Great Falls hospital of natural causes.

A funeral service will be 10:30 a.m. Thursday at the First Lutheran Church in Havre with the Rev. Brad Ulgenes officiating. Burial will follow at Highland Cemetery. A

fellowship served by the ladies of the First Lutheran Church and Eagles Auxiliary will be held at the church immediately following the services at the graveside.

Hylas was born on Sept. 19, 1918, to Henry and Bernice (Johnson) Johnson north of Havre. He attended Cottonwood School and graduated from the eighth grade. Hylas worked on several farms north of Havre until leaving for Libby to fight fires.

He served in the European Theater of Operations with the U.S. Army as a sergeant with the Service Battery 161st Field Artillery Battalion from Jan. 22, 1942, to April 30, 1945. He received a citation for exceptionally meritorious conduct in performance of outstanding service. His duties took him to Normandy, northern France, Ardennes, central Europe and Rhineland.

After the war, Hylas returned to Havre and worked for the Farmers Union Oil Co. for 20 years. He subsequently went to work for Northern Montana College and retired as head custodian after working there 16 years.

Hylas married Verna Bingeman on Aug. 2, 1954, at Havre.

Hylas was a member of the First Lutheran Church in Havre, Fraternal Order of Eagles and lifetime member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars.

Hylas was preceded in death by his parents; brothers, Gerald and James

Robert; sisters, Twila Copeland and Helen Wilkins; and daughter-in-law, Susan Taylor Bingeman.

Survivors include his wife, Verna of Havre; daughters, Rita (Loren) Turner of Coon Rapids, Minn., and Cheri (Leo) Van Gordon of Havre; sons, Kevin (Lorraine) Johnson of Havre, Varyl Bingeman of Colton, Wash., and Douglas (Sylvia) Bingeman of Moore; 13 grandchildren; brothers, Ellis Johnson and Ford Johnson of Havre; sister, Ann Friesen of Havre; sisters-in-law, Esther Meidinger and Nora Kreb; and many nieces and nephews.

Memorials may be made to the First Lutheran Church, 303 Sixth Ave., Havre, MT 59501.

Services and arrangements are under the direction of Holland and Bonine Funeral Home.


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