Cover photo for Ethel Sophia Johnson's Obituary
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1927 Ethel 2017

Ethel Sophia Johnson

November 23, 1927 — August 4, 2017

Funeral services for Ethel Johnson, age 89, of Golden Valley MN, will be held Saturday, August 12, 2017 at 2 PM at Zion Lutheran Church in Milaca with Rev. Stephen Blenkush officiating.  Interment will follow at Forest Hill Cemetery. Visitation will be 1 hour prior to the service at the church on Saturday. Ethel Sophia Johnson (Olson) was born November 23, 1927 to Carl and Elin (Sjogren) Olson in Duluth, MN. She was the fifth of nine children. Ethel was raised in the home of Swedish immigrants that provided her with a love of God expressed through loving other people. During and after the depression, their family often fed homeless men and women that wandered past their doorstep. Ethel was raised to believe that she and her siblings were created to serve others. Additionally, her parents made it clear that they expected her to better herself through education and hard work. During her early adult years Ethel fulfilled the expectations of her parents by attending and graduating from Gustavus Adolphus College. Life during the college years was challenging. Before college, she spent a year working at Moose Lake State hospital to earn money, and during college, she worked as a lifeguard. When school was not in session she would hitchhike home to see her parents and family. Ethel was united in marriage to Fred Johnson on June 16, 1951 at Zion Lutheran Church in Milaca. Her father Rev. Carl Olson officiated. Fred was a lifelong friend of Lester and Glenn Olson, two of Ethel’s brothers. Fred and Ethel shared a fruitful journey of 66 years together. Many of their years were spent in Minneapolis. However, they traveled to and lived for a short while in Oregon, Colorado and British Columbia. During their years together Ethel worked first as a medical technologist, then as an elementary school teacher, and finally as a school psychologist after earning her master’s degree in psychology at the University of Wisconsin River-Falls. Ethel’s greatest love was children. She loved her children, grandchildren, great grandson and students with abandon. She understood that “what you do to the least of these you do to me.” She also loved to talk about her children, grandchildren and great-grandchild with anyone who would listen. Ethel retired at 71. Since then they have split their time between their house in Golden Valley and a house on a hill in Ithaca New York. The house on a hill was a joy for Ethel because it was the new, beautiful house Fred had built for her and more importantly it was next door to her daughter Sheri’s children. Over the past 2 years, as her health declined, Ethel was able to stay in their Golden Valley home due to Fred’s constant and unwavering devotion and care. His attitude is summed up as “How could I do anything else?” Ethel is survived by her husband, Fred Johnson; children, Sheri (James Henry), Wendy (David Scheie), Mark (Marilyn), Michelle, and Christopher (LeAnne); grandchildren, Christopher, Matthew (Ashley), Lia, Alexandra, Kalena, Rafaelle, Gabriel, Christela, Danielle, Erik, Michael (Brittany), Marisa, Daniel, Emma, Tamiea, Kieony, Parker, Chase, Kaelyn; and great-grandchild, Payton, as well as four siblings, Mildred Bloomdahl, Lester Olson (Peggy), Grace Lundeen (Lyman), and Roger Olson (Jan), and sister-in law Carol Mae Olson. She was preceded in death by her parents; Carl H. Olson and Elin T. Olson, and siblings, Elwood, Marie, Leroy, and Glenn.
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Service Schedule

Past Services

Visitation

Saturday, August 12, 2017

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

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Funeral Service

Saturday, August 12, 2017

Starts at 2:00 pm (Central time)

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