Shirley Ann (Norman) Johnson, age 89, of Walcott, N.D., passed away on Monday, July 12, 2021, at Sanford Hospice House in Fargo, N.D.
Shirley was born in Hallock, Minn., on Sept. 30, 1931, to Arthur and Ethel (Nelson) Norman. She was baptized, confirmed and married at Hallock Evangelical Lutheran Church (now Grace Lutheran).
As a child, Shirley worked with her Dad on the family farm and helped her Mom with the indoor chores. She especially enjoyed riding her pony, June. She graduated from Hallock High School and attended Concordia College, Moorhead, Minn., before working at Lutheran Welfare, Fargo in the adoption and foster care programs.
Shirley and Lester were married March 8, 1952, and lived on the Johnson farm near Walcott. She was proud of the home that she and Lester built. They celebrated their 69th wedding anniversary this year.
Shirley was active in Countryside Homemakers, was a member of Richland Lutheran Church and the ALCW/WELCA. She sang in the choir, participated in Bible studies, and served on many committees. Shirley was a woman of strong faith, reading her personal devotions every night, and as her eyesight failed, Lester read them to her. She prayed for her family, confident of God’s presence.
Shirley participated in Adult Education, where she enjoyed painting landscapes of their home, farm, winter and Swedish scenes. A natural athlete herself, she was an avid fan of her children’s and grandchildren’s sporting and musical events. She was an amazing seamstress and bread-baker. Her rye bread, butterhorns, oatmeal buns and Swedish Tea Rings were amongst the first to sell at local bake sales. Shirley could do it all, from gardening, canning and mowing, to truck driving and taking meals to the men in the field, all while keeping a clean house and raising five children!
Lester and Shirley believed in taking time for “fun,” including family vacations to Medora and Canada and trips to several states, Mexico, Norway, Sweden and France. Shirley was a whiz at crossword puzzles and trivia, and enjoyed playing many games including canasta, farkel, Mexican train dominos and watching “Wheel of Fortune.”
Diagnosed with lung cancer in 2015, she successfully battled the disease until April 2021, when she was assisted by Sanford Hospice care, keeping her witty sense of humor until she passed away.
Shirley is survived by: her beloved husband, Lester, of 69 years; children, Debra (Scot) Hintermeyer, Linda (Robert) Gylland, Gregg (Nancy) Johnson, Scott (Carrie) Johnson and Wendy (Andre) Malgouyres; and her sisters Deloris (Richard) Peterson and Bonnie Norman. Grandchildren include: Laura (Emmanuel) Ajibero, Sarah (Jeff) Merriman, Amy (Matt) Lynn, Tyler (Kayla) Gylland, Hanna Johnson, Jon (Carissa) Johnson, Connor (fiancée Crystal) Johnson, Olivia Johnson and Lucy-Mei Malgouyres. Great-Grandchildren include: Bryce and Chloe Gylland, Arabelle and Ivy Johnson, Yanmife Ajibero, and Norah Lynn, in addition to extended family members.
Shirley was preceded in death by her parents and grandparents.
Shirley’s family deeply appreciates the kind and considerate care given to her by Dr. Gitau and the staff at RMCC and Sanford Hospice.
Visitation will be held on Sunday, July 25, 2021, from 5 to 7 p.m. followed by a 7 p.m. prayer service at Richland Lutheran Church in rural Walcott. Visitation will continue at the church on Monday, July 26, 2021, from 10 to 11 a.m. followed by an 11 a.m. funeral service. Pastor Julé Ballinger will officiate the service. Burial will be in Richland Lutheran Cemetery in rural Walcott.
Arrangements have been entrusted to Vertin-Munson Funeral Home.