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1934 June Fankhanel 2024

June Fankhanel

April 25, 1934 — February 24, 2024


Thoreen “June” Fankhanel passed away on Saturday, February 24, 2024, at River Pointe in Moorhead, MN.

Thoreen “June” Joann Johnson was born on April 25, 1934, on the family farm near Viking, MN to Frank Theodore and Mabel (Simonson) Johnson the sixth of eight children.  She attended country school outside of Viking, MN through the 8th grade.  During her high school years June enjoyed singing, and she would graduate from Newfolden High School in 1952.  As a young woman she took off to Chicago for three months and then to South St. Paul and worked at a restaurant and then at a Norwest Bank in the Twin Cities for three years.  

The adventurous June then took off with her girlfriend Marlys to California to expand their horizons.  That led to her moving to Seattle, Washington where she found a job and lived with her sister and her family.  She worked at Boeing Aircraft for four years and she was building airplanes.  Little in stature but June was a “Rosie the riveter.”  While working at Boeing she met Donald Werre, and they were married.  Their journey together had them moving back to Minnesota and that is when their daughter Deb was born.  June worked at a bank and took care of the family.  Tragedy struck and her husband Donald drown, and she moved home to Viking, MN for a year to get her bearings.  During that time, she worked for her brother.  She then returned to South St. Paul, MN where she met Virgil Fankhanel and they were married on July 1, 1961.  During this time along comes son Danny and daughter Kari.  They lived in Cottage Grove, MN for some time until in 1970, moving to Barnesville, where she and Virgil would farm together.  She also worked at the Hardware Hank in Barnesville for a short time.  

Throughout her lifetime, June enjoyed many hobbies including Bowling, where she earned Top Bowler awards in Fargo and Barnesville, she also enjoyed playing shuffleboard and darts while wintering for many years in Texas before buying a winter home in Arizona, and she would win many top awards for her skills.  She was a lifetime member of the VFW Auxiliary.  June enjoyed shopping and she enjoyed clothes and jewelry.  One of her favorite pastimes was going to the casino and she was lucky.  One of her favorite companions was her cat Ole.  

She is survived by her husband of 62 years, Virgil Fankhanel of Barnesville, three children: Debra (Todd) Trygstad of Erhard, MN, Danny (Karen) Fankhanel of Barnesville, MN,  Kari Fankhanel of Moorhead, MN, seven grandchildren: Britta Trygstad (Kris Kerzman), Dana Trygstad, Shawn (Britt) Fankhanel, Jeremy Fankhanel, Valerie (Shaun) Snider, Aleise Lafayette, Kali (Justyn) Armentrout, six great grandchildren, Edith, Anton, Brooklyn, Charlotte, Wren, Vinnie, two brothers:  Darrel Johnson of Cottage Grove, MN, Willis (Joyce) Johnson of Viking, MN, and many nieces, nephews, other relatives, and friends.  

June was preceded in death by her parents Frank and Mabel Johnson, sisters: Oryla Ohlgren, Ardis Bartholme; and brothers: Ferl Johnson, Lavern Johnson, Ellery Johnson.  

Visitation will be held for one hour prior to the service on Saturday.  Memorial services will be 2:00 PM, Saturday, March 2, 2024, at Dobmeier Funeral Home in Barnesville.    

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

Service Schedule

Past Services


Saturday, March 2, 2024

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

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Memorial Service

Saturday, March 2, 2024

Starts at 2:00 pm (Central time)

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