CHADRON | Lois J. Johnson, long-time resident of Chadron, died July 24 in the Avantara-St. Cloud long-term care facility in Rapid City, SD.
Lois was born March 16, 1930 to Arthur and Rosina Larson in Lincoln, NE. She grew up in Lincoln as an only child, graduating from Lincoln High School in 1948. Lois enrolled at the University of Nebraska that same fall, majoring in Home Economics. It was at the University of Nebraska where Lois met her husband of 63 years, Jerry Johnson. They both received their degrees from the University in the spring of 1952. Jerry went back to his home town of Red Cloud, NE to farm and in November, “after the corn was in the bin” they were married and Lois traded her city life for the farm life. Their two daughters, Lorrie and Becky, were born in Red Cloud.
In 1962, the Johnson family moved to Ogallala, NE, when Jerry made a career change to banking. Then in 1967 the Johnson family was on the move again when Jerry accepted the position of President of the Bank of Chadron in Chadron, NE. Chadron remained home until Jerry's death in 2016 and until failing health forced Lois into a long-term care facility in Rapid City, SD in 2018.
Although Lois did not “work outside the home” she certainly made her role as Home Maker an art form. Whether it was feeding and clothing her family, home décor, entertaining guests, or becoming a Certified Master Gardener, Lois excelled at it. Immanuel Lutheran Church benefited from her passion for flowers in that Lois served as Alter Flower Coordinator for many years.
Perhaps the role Lois cherished above all others may have been that of grandmother. Ganny, as she was called by her grandchildren (she was supposed to be called Granny but her first born grandchild could not pronounce his “R”s very well so she became Ganny). Every holiday Lois would produce elaborate dinners to celebrate at her home. “Emily Post” rules were in order and each of her grandchildren learned social graces that have served them well in their adult lives. One of Lois's trademark Ganny talents was the creation of individualized birthday cakes for each grandchild. The grandchild would request it and Ganny would create it…from Sesame Street characters to Walt Disney princesses, from a circus train to a treehouse, from a violin to a skateboard.
Finally, Lois had a great love for the many small house dogs she had throughout her life. She enjoyed their companionship, particularly in her last years.
Lois is survived by her two daughters, Lorrie Johnson Bauer (Randy), Chadron, Becky Johnson Hollibaugh (Greg), Rapid City, seven grandchildren, and six great-grandchildren. She was proceeded in death by her parents and husband, Jerry.
Graveside services for family and close personal friends will be at 10 a.m. on Saturday, August 1, at Greenview Cemetery in Chadron, with Pastor Bruce Baum officiating. Services will be live streamed on the Chamberlain Chapel Facebook page.
A memorial has been established. Donations may be sent to Chamberlain Chapel, PO Box 970, Chadron, NE 69337.
Online condolences can be made at chamberlainchapel.com.
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