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Obituary - Johanna Theresa (Weller) Kato


Last updated 11/11/2021 at 12:11pm

Johanna Kato

Johanna Theresa (Weller) Kato, beloved wife, mother, grandmother, and great-grandmother went home to be with Jesus while surrounded by loved ones on Friday, November 5th, 2021 — passing away peacefully one day after her 87th birthday.

A prayer vigil will be held at 6:00 p.m. today, Thursday, November 11, and the funeral mass will be at 11:00 a.m. Friday, November 12. Both services will be held at St. Jude’s Catholic Church. A luncheon will be held at the St. Jude’s Parish Center immediately after the funeral service and burial will follow at a later date.

Holland & Bonine Funeral Home has been entrusted with services and arrangements.

Please visit Johanna’s online memorial page at https://www.hollandbonine.com to send a card and leave a message of condolence for her family.

Johanna was born to John and Scholastica Weller November 4th, 1934. She grew up in Bluffton, Minnesota, attended Wadena High School, and, after graduation, went to business school and worked in Minneapolis. In 1951, while attending her sister Arlene and brother-in-law George Kato’s wedding, she met Mark Kato. They began a long-distance romance in 1955. While she was working as a bookkeeper in Wadena, Minnesota, they corresponded through love letters. Johanna and Mark were married on September 3rd, 1956, and enjoyed celebrating their 65th anniversary this year.

Johanna and Mark lived in Havre, Montana, where they were blessed with four sons and three daughters from 1957 through 1970. While raising her family, she also worked various part-time jobs. These included running a home day care, working as an aide for Havre Public Schools, and, from 1980-1995, serving as “School Secretary” at St. Jude’s Catholic School. During this time she acted as a school mom to many, sharing her love of Jesus with children as they waited for parents to arrive. Johanna was a devoted grandmother and great-grandmother, attending sporting events and activities near and far. She made each of them feel special and loved through her thoughtful gifts, loving hugs, warm meals and consistent presence in their lives.

She regularly attended Mass, was a member of Catholic Daughters, led many Bible studies, and was a vocal defender of life, advocating regularly for unborn children. She volunteered for many years at the Northern Montana Care Center. After her husband, Mark, entered the care center in 2015, Johanna was a daily visitor, joining his table at lunch and playing countless Yahtzee and card games. She also volunteered as the funeral reception coordinator and dedicated herself to serving others right up to her passing. Well-known in the community, she will be missed by many.

Johanna was preceded in death by her parents, John and Scholastica; brothers Donald, Arnold, Duane, and Kenneth; and sisters Bernice and Isabelle.

She is survived by her husband, Mark, of Havre, MT; children Mark (Teresa) of Post Falls, ID; Rick (Aileen) of Greeley, CO; and Jeff (Mary) of Fort Collins, CO; Shari (Greg) Baltrusch of Havre, MT; Lisa (Kelly) Darlington of Helena, MT; Patti (Marty Esquibel) of Denver, CO; Jim (Carrie) of Havre, MT. Surviving family also includes sisters Arlene Kato of Great Falls, MT; Judy (Collin) McLeod of Glenwood, MN; and brother Joe (Joanie) Weller of Ottertail, MN; a brother-in-law, Frank (Nancy) Kato, and four sisters-in-law, Marge Weller, Dorothy Weller, Eileen Weller, and Carol Moesinger. She has 18 grandchildren, 11 great-grandchildren, and a multitude of nieces and nephews.

Memorial gifts may be made to St. Jude’s Education Trust, St. Jude’s Church or the Mark and Johanna Kato Scholarship endowment at Montana State University.


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