Obituary – Johanna Theresa (Weller) Kato


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

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

Holland & Bonine Funeral Home was entrusted with the services and arrangements.

Please visit Johanna’s online memorial page at to send a card and leave a message of condolence to her family.

Johanna was born to John and Scholastica Weller on November 4, 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 the wedding of her sister Arlene and her brother-in-law George Kato, she met Mark Kato. They began a distance romance in 1955. While working as an accountant in Wadena, Minnesota, they corresponded through love letters. Johanna and Mark married on September 3, 1956 and enjoyed celebrating their 65th birthday this year.

Johanna and Mark lived in Havre, Montana where they were fortunate to have four sons and three daughters from 1957 to 1970. While raising her family, she also held various part-time jobs. These included running a family day care center, helping out public schools in Le Havre and, from 1980 to 1995, the post of “school secretary” at St. Jude Catholic School. During this time, she acted as a school mom for many, sharing her love of Jesus with the children as they awaited the parents’ arrival. Johanna was a dedicated grandmother and great-grandmother, attending sporting events and activities from near and far. She made each of them feel special and loved with her thoughtful gifts, loving hugs, hot meals, and constant presence in their lives.

She attended mass regularly, was a member of Catholic Daughters, conducted numerous Bible studies, and was a vigorous advocate for life, regularly defending 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 her table for lunch and playing countless games of Yahtzee and cards. She also volunteered as a Funeral Reception Coordinator and was dedicated to serving others until her passing. Well known in the community, she will be missed by many.

Johanna was predeceased by her parents, John and Scholastique; brothers Donald, Arnold, Duane and Kenneth; and the sisters Bernice and Isabelle.

She is survived by her husband, Mark, of Havre, MT; children Mark (Teresa) of Post Falls, ID; Rick (Aileen) from Greeley, CO; and Jeff (Mary) of Fort Collins, CO; Shari (Greg) Baltrusch from Havre, MT; Lisa (Kelly) Darlington from Helena, MT; Patti (Marty Esquibel) from Denver, CO; Jim (Carrie) from Havre, MT. The surviving family also includes sisters Arlene Kato of Great Falls, MT; Judy (Collin) McLeod of Glenwood, MN; and his brother Joe (Joanie) Weller of Ottertail, MN; one 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 host of nieces and nephews.

Memorial gifts can be made to St. Jude’s Education Trust, St. Jude’s Church, or Montana State University’s Mark and Johanna Kato Fellowship.

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