Obituary of Shirley Johnson
Shirley Margaret Johnson, age 89 of Cambridge, passed away peacefully while her grandson was singing to her, on July 10, 2018 at GracePointe Crossing.
She was born on August 28, 1928 to Frank and Margaret (Weissmann) Viel. Growing up on a farm in New York, Shirley and her little sister, DeDe, learned by their father’s example the importance of hard work and determination. They not only helped their mother, but were expected to do farm work as well. When the neighboring farm children invited her to attend North Syracuse Baptist Church, Shirley was eager to go. Shirley invited Christ into her life at a young age and became very involved with the World Wide Guild (a young person’s missionary society). Her sister followed Shirley’s example as their parents witnessed them growing in their faith. Shirley was a diligent student, graduating from Syracuse High School and furthered her education at Wheaton College. She was tremendously affected by the Wheaton Revival in 1949 and shortly after, her mother became a believer!
It was in college that Shirley met the charming George Johnson from Cambridge, Minnesota. They were married on December 29, 1951 and made their home in Cambridge. To this union Jeff, Tim, and Maggie were born. Shirley filled their home with love. She was a nurturing mother, sweet and kind, and nothing made her happier than having the coffee pot on and welcoming people into her home. Though 100% German, she fit perfectly into the Scandinavian community because of her hospitality.
Shirley and George were devoted members of First Baptist Church. She shared her gifts, talents, and wisdom serving as the Director of Christian Education as well as loving and teaching children how much Jesus loved them. She was devoted to the two and three year olds and was affectionately known as “Grandma Shirley.” She had the uncanny ability to identify with people who were hurting in some way… she empathized and wanted to help lift their load. She was detail oriented and methodical which came in very handy as she supported George in his many business endeavors and the ministries he was involved in.
Grandma “Shu Shu” made her ten grandchildren feel loved and was attentive to their interests, activities, and what they liked. They remember her as selfless, caring, patient, loving and very focused on the needs and wants of others. She took every opportunity to read to her grandkids when they were young and when they grew older always made their friends feel welcome. She made everyone feel special and loved. Grandma “Shu Shu” and Grandpa George made a great team!
Shirley will be deeply missed by her children, Jeff (Jan) Johnson of Isanti, Tim (Molly) Johnson of New Brighton, Maggie (Mark) Anderson of Arden Hills; her grandchildren, Emily (Kevin) Anderle, Hannah (Rob) Rounds, Greta (Adam) Dvorak, Spencer Johnson, Samuel Johnson, Katie (Jake) Bruhnding, Bjorn (Anne) Anderson, Erik (Maggie) Anderson, Niklas Anderson, Lars (Nicole) Anderson; her great-grandchildren, William George, Kenneth, Luke, Shirley, Beau, Tripp, Cash, Maze, Kit, Solveig, Trygve; she is also survived by her sister, DeDe (Homer) Ericson of Kokomo, Indiana; sister-in-law, Doris Eastlund of Cambridge; many nieces, nephews, other relatives and friends.
She was preceded in death by her parents; and her husband, George.