Ethelyn Beatrice Johnson, 89

Published 8:12 am Thursday, April 11, 2019

Ethelyn Beatrice (Roberts) Johnson, 89, passed away peacefully on Tuesday, April 9, 2019, surrounded by family at Grand Meadow Health Care Center.

Ethelyn Beatrice Johnson, 89

Ethelyn was born Aug. 21, 1929, in Bennington Township, Mower County, Minnesota, to William and Luella (Johnson) Roberts. She attended country schools and Spring Valley High School, graduating in 1947. Following graduation, she was employed by First State Bank in Spring Valley, Minnesota, as head teller for seven and a half years. She met her future husband, Robert Duane Johnson, at a local dance and they were engaged in 1950, when Robert was inducted into the U.S. Army. He served for two years in the Korean Conflict. They were married on April 18, 1953, at the St. Ignatius parsonage in Spring Valley. Ethelyn and Robert lived in Spring Valley until 1955. Following the birth of their first child, Diane, Ethelyn gave up her job and became a full-time homemaker and mother. Robert and Ethelyn moved to Dexter, Minnesota, and later Grand Meadow, Minnesota, for Robert’s job as manager of JF Anderson Lumber Yard. Three more children followed: two sons, Steven and David, and daughter, Barbara. Ethelyn was a loving mother and wonderful caregiver to her family. In 1966, Robert joined IBM in Rochester, Minnesota, where he was employed until 1991, while Ethelyn watched over the children’s needs as they continued to reside in Grand Meadow. She volunteered for many activities at St. Finbarr Catholic Church and Meadow Manor Nursing Home in Grand Meadow, becoming the Community Better Life Award winner in 1982. She was always a willing participant in the needs of her children’s organizations and events. Ethelyn greatly loved spending time with her family and extended family, often volunteering to help out when needed. She was a compassionate caregiver to her parents needs. She loved seeing everyone and organized many family get-togethers. She especially enjoyed attending her children and grandchildren’s activities. She and Robert were welcome visitors at many sporting events, concerts, plays, and dance recitals over the years. Her beautiful smile was always a joy to see. Ethelyn and Robert were wonderful dancers and especially liked to polka or waltz while socializing with friends. They would seek out polka Mass at local churches and attended many VFW and Legion dances in the area. Ethelyn was a great baker and cook who loved to try out new recipes on the family while keeping the old favorites alive as well. It was always a special treat to come home after school to freshly baked cookies or cake made by Ethelyn’s loving hands.

Ethelyn is survived by her children, Diane (Larry) Kellner and Steven (Nancy) Johnson, both of Rochester, David (Ann) Johnson of Grand Meadow, and Barbara (Brian) Abbott of Stewartville, Minnesota; grandchildren, Jessica (Tony) Pelzel, Nicholas Kellner, Ashley Johnson (Brandon Movall), Patrick Johnson, Paul (Allison) Johnson, Neal Abbott (Hannah Buchl) and Nathan Abbott; five great-grandchildren, Nolan, William, Hudson, Griffin and Emma Pelzel; brother, James (Jo) Roberts; and numerous nieces and nephews. She was preceded in death by her husband, Robert; her parents; her sister, Gloria Sheldon; brother, William Junior Roberts; brother-in-law, Richard Sheldon; and sister-in-law, Wanda Roberts.

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Funeral mass will be celebrated at 2 p.m. on Tuesday, April 16, 2019, at St. Finbarr Catholic Church in Grand Meadow with Father Mareddy Pothireddy officiating. Visitation will be held two hours prior to the service on Tuesday at the church. Burial will follow the service at St. Ignatius Cemetery in Spring Valley. Online condolences may be left at