After passing away at her home in rural Cokato, Betty Jean Johnson, age 84, celebrated her heavenly homecoming on February 8, 2015. Betty, the youngest daughter of Oscar and Elsie Olean, was born on August 26, 1930. She grew up in the Annandale area, graduated in 1948 from Annandale High School, and then lived and worked in St. Paul, Minnesota. Betty was united in marriage to the love of her life, Russell Albert Johnson, on May 13, 1950 at Saint John’s Lutheran Church in Annandale. She worked at the State Bank of Cokato up until 1953 when Russ entered the US Army. They traveled together to army bases in Missouri, Virginia, South Carolina and Tennessee for two years, and upon returning to Minnesota in 1955, Russ and Betty purchased the Johnson Family Homestead seven miles north of Cokato. Over the next several years they worked together to raise four children, farm and establish an electrical business which serviced the community for more than 40 years. During the early years of the business, Betty worked at National Connectors to support the family and fledgling business. In 1984, Betty returned to the State Bank of Cokato where she worked until her retirement in 2014. Throughout their life together, Betty and Russ were active members of North Crow River Lutheran Church in Knapp, MN.
Like the women described in Proverbs, one of her favorite books of the Bible, Betty was known for her noble character, wisdom, generosity, faithful instruction, kindheartedness and genuine love. She lived each moment in the awareness of God’s delight in all of His creation and found fulfillment in being His servant and spotlighting this joy for others. Her optimistic approach allowed her to recognize each moment, ordinary or unique, as an opportunity to learn, to grow, to understand or to celebrate. Betty carried herself with a gentle poise and quiet confidence stemming from a genuine love and concern for all people, especially her family. To them she gave the gifts of love, faith, patience and self-acceptance. Her entire family has been blessed by this remarkable woman and is thankful God placed them in this life together.
Honor her for all that her hands have done, and let her works bring praise at the city gate. Proverbs 31: 31
Left to cherish Betty’s memory are her children Debra (Neal) Wahlman of Plymouth, Marion (Phil) Lee of Cokato, Randy (Lynda) Johnson of Cokato, and Teri (Jim) Johnson of Big Lake, grandchildren Jon (Jenny) Lee, Bengt (Emily) Lee, Noah (Laura) Lee, Annalicia (Phil) Niemela, Grant Johnson, Zachary Johnson, Calab Johnson, Kate Johnson, Brianna Johnson, Jeremy (Mary) Wahlman-Krogh and Jason (Kristi) Wahlman, great grandchildren Katelyn, Kezia, Ezra, Lilly, Owen, Violet and Etta Lee, Josie and Henry Wahlman, sister Elma Peterson and many relatives and friends. Betty was preceded in death by her husband, Russell Johnson, infant son, Mark, parents, Oscar and Elsie Olean and brothers Clarence, Walter, Harold and Robert Olean. A Celebration of Life service will be held at 11:00 AM on Friday, February 13, 2015 at the First Baptist Church in Cokato with visitation on Thursday, February 12, 2015 evening from 4-7 PM at the church and one hour prior to funeral services. Interment will be in the North Crow River Lutheran Church Cemetery.