LaDonna Charmaine Johnson, 82, Austin

Published 10:37 am Wednesday, October 24, 2012

LaDonna Charmaine Johnson, 82, of Austin, Minn., died Saturday morning, Oct. 20, 2012, at Meadow Manor Care Center in Grand Meadow, Minn.

LaDonna C. Johnson

LaDonna was born Sept. 11, 1930, in Austin, Minn., to Harvey A. and Bernice E. (Cleveland) Johnson. She attended Austin Public Schools, graduating from Austin Junior College in 1949. She continued to educate herself throughout her life. A dictionary was her constant companion and she frequented many libraries. As a voracious reader, she often had three books going at a time. LaDonna was an office employee at the Hormel Corporation from 1947-1952, and operated her own dance studio in Owatonna, Minn., from 1954-1964. She worked for Federated Insurance for 37 years, becoming the second woman in Minnesota to earn the professional insurance designation Chartered Property Casualty Underwriter. LaDonna was also named the Minneapolis Insurance Women’s Association Insurance Woman of the Year in 1961. Not averse to trying new things, LaDonna learned to drive, use the computer, and play the organ, all after her retirement in 1990.

An active member of First United Methodist Church, LaDonna taught Sunday school and edited the church newsletter. She was a talented pianist and accompanist, also sharing that gift with her church. Her other interests were watching basketball, football and baseball on TV. Her favorite was baseball, and she often attended Twins games at the old Metropolitan Stadium. An advocate for animals, LaDonna had a cat for most of her adult life. She had a knack for training family pets, and was entertained by the birds at her birdfeeders.

Email newsletter signup

LaDonna took pride in designing her flower gardens and reveled in their beauty. As a creative crafter, she used mediums such as decoupage, quilling, foil tooling, glass painting and cutting, rug hooking and candles. Her forte was Austrian rhinestone Christmas ornaments and jewelry Christmas tree pictures which grace the homes of many family members, friends and co-workers. She was also a collector of many items, including matchbook covers, copper items, figurines, and vintage glassware, especially clear-pressed American glass creamers. It pleased LaDonna to entertain friends and family with well thought out gatherings, and she savored dining out, seeing old movies, musical theatre, and listening to big band music.

Survivors include her brother Clestine Johnson of Austin; niece Sunnee (Jerry) Flink of Austin; great nieces Julene Flink of St. Paul, Minn., Krista (Troy) Heinz of Mount Sterling, Wis., Jillian Flink of Fridley, Minn.; great-great-nephews Tyler and Tanner Heinz, both of Mount Sterling. She was preceded in death by her parents Harvey and Bernice Johnson; sister Crystale in childhood; sister-in-law Millie Johnson; nephew Mark C. Johnson.

Funeral services will be held at 11 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 27, 2012, at the First United Methodist Church in Austin with Pastor Marilee Benson officiating. Interment will follow the service at Oakwood Cemetery in Austin. Visitation will be held at the Worlein Funeral Home from 5 to 7 p.m. Friday, Oct. 26 and for one hour prior to the service at the church on Saturday. The family prefers memorials to the Mower County Humane Society or to First United Methodist Church. Worlein Funeral Home of Austin is assisting the family with arrangements. Condolences may be expressed to the family online at