Pearl Mary Johnson (nee Greku), age 72, of Arizona, and formerly of Cokato, was taken to her heavenly home Tuesday, Jan. 15, 2019.
She was born May 10, 1946, in Cokato, to Eino and Hilma Greku (Pippo). Pearl spent her childhood days on the Greku farm, helping with farm chores, and assisting her mother with cooking and hosting guests.
During her high school years, she met Peter Johnson, from Calumet, MI. Pearl lived in the Twin Cities for a short while after graduating from high school, during which time their love grew. Pearl and Peter were married Sept. 4, 1965, and the couple made their home in Michigan, where they raised eight children.
Peter and Pearl enjoyed traveling, and in addition to making frequent road trips with a growing family, they travelled to Finland, Israel, and Central Europe after their children were grown.
In 2011, Peter and Pearl moved to Cave Creek, AZ, where they were grateful to be able to spend their retirement years in the warm sunshine. Due to Pearl’s arthritis, the dry heat of Arizona was especially soothing. During these years, they made many friends and memories, and were able to continue their travels, while also spending time with children and grandchildren.
Pearl was also able to dabble in her interest in art and jewelry. She loved learning and had a wonderful curiosity about her. She was known for her kind and loving heart and her caring hospitality. She touched countless people by her tender nature and warm smile. She made everyone feel special.
During September of 2018, Pearl was unexpectedly diagnosed with terminal lung cancer and began experiencing the serious complications of her condition and treatments. During these months of health trials, she was surrounded with love from her family and countless friends.
As a member of the Laestadian Lutheran Church, faith was always the most precious matter to Pearl throughout her life. Her sincere goal was to be able to continue to endeavor in God’s kingdom and one day attain her eternal victory. We can be comforted that she has earned her heavenly crown and will no longer suffer here on this earth.
Pearl was pre-deceased by her sister, Nancy Greku (1991); father Eino Greku (1992); mother Hilma Greku (1999); sister Joyce (George) Johnson (2007); and granddaughter Lily Johnson (2011).
She is survived by her husband, Peter; and their eight children: Andrea (Erkki) Joensuu, Allan (Lisa) Johnson, Elizabeth (Matt) Lyons, Robert Johnson, Kathryn (Bernard) Johnson, Ann (Ken) Byman, Mary (Eric) Johnson, and Sarah Johnson.
Pearl is also survived by 36 grandchildren; six great-grandchildren; a sister, Helen (Ruben) Mytty; and brother Carl (Linda) Greku.
Finally, she is remembered by countless friends and loved ones who were touched by Pearl’s life and mourn her death.
The funeral service for Pearl took place Saturday, Jan. 19 at the Phoenix Laestadian Lutheran Church in Cave Creek, AZ.
Pearl will be laid to rest at the Cokato Finnish Cemetery Friday, May 10, at 2 p.m., nearby her deceased siblings and parents.