Mary Ann Louise Johnson, age 94, of Cokato, passed away Tuesday, March 21, 2017, at Centra Care Health Center of Monticello.
She was born Dec. 9, 1922, in Dassel, the youngest child of Arvid and Sara Bergquist. Mary Ann grew up in the rural areas around Dassel and Cokato, and graduated from Litchfield High School in 1940.
She was united in marriage with Kenneth Johnson Sept. 5, 1942, at her parents’ farm near Litchfield, just prior to Ken’s military service.
For the next three years, Mary Ann lived and worked in the cities of New York, Boston, Minneapolis, and Long Beach, as Ken served his country in the US Navy during World War II. A strong and courageous young woman, Mary Ann quickly learned to navigate life on her own during wartime while waiting for her husband to return from active duty.
Mary Ann and Ken moved back to Cokato after he was discharged in October 1945. They worked together to raise five children, manage an electrical business, and served as caretakers at the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Cokato. During these years, Mary Ann created a warm and loving home, and worked for various local businesses including Nortronics, Fabritec, Green Giant, Jack and Jill, and Cokato Dry Cleaners.
Throughout their life together, Mary Ann and Ken were active members of the Cokato Evangelical Lutheran Church, where Mary Ann taught Sunday school, served on the Altar Guild, and was a member of the LCW.
Mary Ann and Ken loved traveling together, especially enjoying trips to Sweden to visit Mary Ann’s ancestral home; and enjoyed attending the Tin Can Sailors reunions, and spending time at the family cabin on Bass Lake near Brainerd.
Mary Ann was known for her kind, caring, and compassionate nature, as well as her humble character, gentle demeanor, and loving heart. She lived a life of faith and adherence to God’s Word. As a student of the Holy Scriptures, Mary Ann not only enjoyed studying the Bible, she put those words into practice in her everyday life. She freely gave the gifts of love, patience, and self-acceptance to others because of her belief in God’s mercy for all as stated in some of her favorite verses:
“No, He has told you what he wants, and this is all it is: to be fair and just and merciful, and to walk humbly with your God.” Micah 6:8
“Instead, be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God has forgiven you because you belong to Christ.” Ephesians 4:32
Left to cherish Mary Ann’s memory are her children: Nancy (Bill) Gunther of Fairmont, Pam (Dwight) Lundeen of Becker, Greg (Mary) Johnson of Delano, Jennifer (Darrell) Gorham of Coon Rapids, and Jim (Teri) Johnson of Big Lake; grandchildren Heather (Jay) Trembley, Bill and Todd Gunther, Mike (Annica) Lundeen, Matt (Amber) Lundeen, Kristin (Barry) Bennett, Sara (Mike) Keefe, Adam Johnson, Josh (Anne) Gorham, Elyse (Brian) Pevensie, Scott Gorham, and Zachary, Calab, Kate, and Brianna Johnson; great-grandchildren Emily and Cecilia Trembley, Taylor Gunther, Gabby Lundeen, Drew, Kenzie and Zach Lundeen, Molly, Luke, and Anna Bennett, Evelyn and Cora Keefe, Signe, Trygve, Odin Gorham, and Nettle and Jade Pevensie; and many relatives and friends.
She was preceded in death by her husband, Kenneth Johnson; parents Arvid and Sara Bergquist; brother Reuben Bergquist; and sister Ruby Lien.
A Celebration of Life service took place Friday, March 24 at 10 a.m. at the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Cokato. There was visitation Thursday, March 23 at the church from 5 to 8 p.m.; and continuing Friday one hour prior to the service. Interment was at Cokato Lutheran Church Cemetery.
Arrangements were with the Swanson-Peterson Funeral Home in Cokato; www.swansonpeterson.com.