Marianne Joyce Johnson: Former teacher, school volunteer

Marianne Johnson

Marianne Joyce Johnson

Marianne, mother, wife, grandmother, and friend to many, lived an exuberant 80 years after her birth in Ashland, Oregon, July 2, 1938. She died at home in Edmonds, Washington on November 16, 2018.

Marianne’s family, so blessed by her, include her husband of many years, Lloyd Johnson, and three sons by a previous marriage; Matthew (Julie), Bart (Kerri) and GR Shorack (Lanet). Lloyd’s adult children include, Cindy (Bob), Phil (Alice), Doug (Sharon) and Tony. Sixteen grandchildren also love their “Oma” with two great grandkids added recently. No wonder her 80th birthday party drew 80+ people.

At age five skipping along to her grandmother’s house, she suddenly knew Jesus loved her and would be with her forever. She has never doubted his presence. That epiphany governed a life of giving herself to her family, hosting in her home, loving kids at camp, caring for all including colleagues, and friends.

An elementary teacher (University of Oregon grad.) before her children arrived, she spent many subsequent years volunteering in Seattle schools. Marianne, the ultimate party mom, gave herself for kids, her own, their friends, and many others including international students. Her home reflected joy and warmth, lots of flowers and color. An avid Husky fan, she rarely missed home games.

Living abroad for various periods of time up to a year in Italy, Holland, Australia and for weeks in Uganda and subsequently Bethlehem, Marianne loved adventure. She had no fear, and in the Holy Land drove fast in rental cars insisting she could drive better than her husband. Deep friendships have resulted with internationals from Finland, Japan, Holland as well as Christian and Muslim Palestinians.

Marianne strongly identified as a follower of Jesus. Prayer and intimacy with him became central resulting in 30 years of several friends gathering regularly to laugh, enjoy each other and pray for their families and many others locally and around the world. She mentored many young women in her home, and in later years provided Christian counseling one-on-one in the U.S. and Uganda.

Profoundly troubled in 2008 by the suffering of people in Palestine/Israel, she spent her final decade in advocacy and help for them—for freedom from apartheid and for peace based on fairness to all, Jews and Arabs. A young Palestinian man even calls her “Mom.”

Despite recent progressive heart failure, her light-hearted laughter never quit. Now she’s at home with her Lord whom she loves. We smile, laugh, cry, and miss her immensely.

A memorial celebration of Marianne’s life will be held at Edmonds Center for the Arts, 410 – 4thAvenue N. in Edmonds, Washington at 11:00 am on Saturday, January 5, 2019.  All are cordially invited. Reception/lunch follows at CCF across the street.


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