Cover photo for Grace Phyllis Kathleen Johnson's Obituary
Grace Phyllis Kathleen Johnson Profile Photo
1930 Grace 2023

Grace Phyllis Kathleen Johnson

July 7, 1930 — August 11, 2023

Little Canada


          Grace Phyllis Kathleen Johnson was born to John and Martha (Fyllesvold) Johnson on July 7, 1930 on the family farm in Ward County near the town of Plaza, North Dakota.  She was the youngest of eight children.  Near the farm was a one room school where she attended the first grade, attending other grades in Plaza. In 1948, she graduated from Plaza High School.  A few miles from the farm was Spring Valley Lutheran Church which her family faithfully attended and where Grace was baptized and confirmed. The family plot is in the cemetery around the church and Grace’s ashes will be buried there.

            Grace attended Minot State Teachers College from 1948-1950, North Dakota University in Fargo from 1954-55, and Northern University of Colorado in Greeley, Colorado in the summer and fall of 1959.

            She taught in Hazelton, North Dakota in 1950-51; in Hazen, North Dakota from 1951-54; in Owatonna, Minnesota from 1955-56; in Great Falls, Montana from 1956-59 and in Colorado Springs, Colorado from 1960-1986, retiring there in 1986.

            A very social person, Grace greatly enjoyed her 4th grade students and being with family and friends.  She was a charter member of the Sons of Norway in Colorado Springs since 1973, a member of the Alpha Kappa Teachers Society since 1967 and was very active in the churches she joined over the years. She enjoyed bowling, softball as a kid, snow skiing, golfing, playing board games and cards, and reading.

            During summer vacations while teaching, she visited many foreign countries, going to Norway several times to visit her grandparents’ farm. For many years she organized family reunions on the family farm that was still worked by her twin brothers, Max and Miles. Those reunions became favorite memories for us all, especially the huge bonfires to roast marshmallows, fireworks on the 4th of July, and lots of food.  (However, there was a time our fireworks set Max’s fallow field on fire and Max was embarrassed when the Plaza Volunteer Fire Department had to show up!) In later years, Uncle Jack started a tradition of having family reunions with Grace, Jack, and us cousins — in Minnesota three times and also in Virginia, Washington, and New Orleans.

            In 2011, Grace became desperately ill and she could no longer live on her own in Colorado Springs.  So her good friends, LuAnn and Betsy, went to help take care of her and to begin deciding what to take to Minnesota.  Then Jan went to pack up her things, to sell her house and to bring her to Minnesota.  In September 2011 she moved into Tradition Senior Living in Brooklyn Park.  Remarkably, she greatly improved and lived there until 2020, making many good friends. After a small stoke, she moved to Suite Living in Little Canada.  On August 6 she suffered a massive stroke and died peacefully on August 11.

            Grace is preceded in death by her parents, John and Martha Johnson and by her siblings: Art and his wife Alice, Irene and her husband Everett Hartsook, Verna and her husband Ben York, Ruth (who died as a baby), Max, Miles, and Jack and his wife Edna. Grace is survived by many nieces and nephews and good friends. She was much loved by all who knew her, and she will be deeply missed. Her memory will be a blessing.



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Past Services


Saturday, September 16, 2023

3:00 - 3:30 pm (Central time)

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Memorial Service

Saturday, September 16, 2023

3:30 - 4:00 pm (Central time)

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