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Betty J. Johnson, 84

After passing away at her home in rural Cokato, Betty Jean Johnson, age 84, celebrated her heavenly homecoming Sunday, Feb. 8, 2015.

Betty, the youngest daughter of Oscar and Elsie Olean, was born Aug. 26, 1930. She grew up in the Annandale area, graduated in 1948, from Annandale High School, and then lived and worked in St. Paul.

Betty was united in marriage to the love of her life, Russell Albert Johnson, May 13, 1950, at Saint John’s Lutheran Church in Annandale.

She worked at the State Bank of Cokato 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.

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.

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, and Josie and Henry Wahlman; sister Elma Peterson; and many other relatives and friends.

Betty was preceded in death by her husband, Russell Johnson; an infant son, Mark; parents, Oscar and Elsie Olean; and brothers Clarence, Walter, Harold and Robert Olean.

A Celebration of Life service took place Friday, Feb. 13 at 11 a.m. at First Baptist Church in Cokato, with interment at North Crow River Lutheran Church cemetery.

Visitation was Thursday, Feb. 12 from 4 to 7 p.m. at the church, and continued Friday, one hour prior to the funeral services.

Arrangements were by the Swanson-Peterson Funeral Home in Cokato.

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