BETTY ANN JOHNSON
Mundwiler Funeral Home announces the death of Betty Ann Johnson, age 85, of Ortonville, Minn., who passed away April 22, 2013, at Sanford Hospital in Sioux Falls, S.D. Memorial services will be held Saturday, April 27th at 2:30 p.m. at Fairway View Living Center in Ortonville. Rev. Marlene Elmstrom will officiate. A celebration of her life will also be held later this summer at the family lake cabin on Pomme de Terre near Elbow Lake, Minn.
Betty Ann Jacobson was born on October 26, 1927 in Thief River Falls, Minn. She was third daughter of Dr. Armyle and Alice Jacobson. She was baptized, confirmed and married at Trinity Lutheran Church. She graduated from Thief River Falls High School and then attended St. Olaf College in Northfield, Minn. She graduated from the University of Minnesota with a BA in nursing and a second BA in education. On September 6, 1952 she married Gordon O. Johnson of Morris, Minn. To this marriage three children were born. Gordon and Betty Ann owned the Our Own Hardware in Morris until his death in 1967. Betty Ann enjoyed working in the store with Gordy and made many life-long friends in Morris. Many summers were spent at the family cabin on Pomme de Terre Lake near Elbow Lake, MN.
After Gordy's death, Betty Ann needed to support her family and went back to nursing, working with the Head Start program as the nurse covering a five county area in West Central Minnesota. From her position as the nurse, she went on to become the Director for the Head Start program. She was passionate about developing the best possible environment to raise healthy, happy, and educated children. She went on to develop a program benefiting senior citizens in west central Minnesota at the University of Minnesota in Morris. From there she moved to Roseville, Minn. to take a state level position in St. Paul. She completed her career as Coordinator for Continuing Education for the Supreme Court of the State on Minnesota. Throughout her career she earned many accolades and awards, but she said her highest reward was the admiration of her family and friends for her hard work ethic toward whatever she did.
After her well-earned retirement, she enjoyed spending six months of the year at the cabin on Pomme de Terre. The other six months she spent in a condo on the beach in St. Augustine Beach, Fla. She often said that she had the best of both worlds spending six months watching the sun rise in Florida, and six months watching the sun set in Minnesota. She loved her friends and activities in Florida and stayed in contact with them even after her health forced her to discontinue these trips south in the winter. She enjoyed feeding the birds, her flowers, crossword puzzles, but her greatest joy was watching her grandchildren grow. She instilled many family traditions that each of her children have continued with their own families: meatballs and lefsa on Christmas Eve, everybody gets an angel food cake on their birthday, her love of birds and animals (especially her grand-puppies), gardening, and being of service to others.
On April 22, 2013, Betty Ann Johnson (85) went peacefully home to be with the Lord. Betty Ann was a resident of Fairway View Assisted Living in Ortonville, Minn. and a member of First English Lutheran Church.
She wanted to be remembered as follows: Betty Ann was a trusted friend, a loving mother and grandmother, a person who always tried to solve a problem, who could be trusted with a secret, who would listen when you needed to talk, and who loved and enjoyed her family above everything.
Betty Ann is survived by her family, who are sad but grateful to have had her as such an important part of their lives. Her daughter, Sue, and her husband Bob Kulbeik who recently lived in Milbank, S.D., now from Elbow Lake, Minn.; her son, Bruce Johnson, who resides in Wahpeton, N.D.; and her son, Dan, and his wife Heidi Johnson of Ashby, Minn., and their beautiful daughters, Emily and Alyssa. Her grandchildren were the light and joy of her life.
She is also survived by her sisters: Barbara Ferguson, of Chisago City, Minn., and Ruth Johnson, of Germantown, N.Y.; many nieces, nephews, and cousins; and her Fairway View family, her Red Hat sisters, her Florida friends, her Morris friends, her friends and neighbors at the lake, and many, many others left to mourn her passing.
Betty Ann was preceded in death by those who welcome her to heaven: her husband, Gordy; her parents; her sister, Margaret (Peggy) Graham; and her brothers-in-law: Bob Schuehle, Bill Graham, and Bill Johnson.
In lieu of flowers memorials can be directed to "Leader Dogs for the Blind" in care of her daughter, Sue Kulbeik, P.O. Box 59, Elbow Lake, MN, 56531.
Mundwiler Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements for Betty Ann Johnson. To send condolences online please visit www.mundwilerfuneralhome.net.