Merrie M. Johnson, 72, of Austin, MN, bravely lost her battle with pancreatic cancer on Friday afternoon, April 3, 2015, at her home surrounded by her loved ones. Merrie will always be remembered for her strength and courage thru this devastating disease. Merrie will be greatly missed by everyone who knew and loved her.
Merrie was born December 22, 1942 in Austin, MN to Richard and Mildred (Collette) King. Merrie was the 2nd oldest child and the first daughter in a family of 10 children. Merrie was united in marriage to Jerald Johnson on May 12, 1962 at St Edwards Catholic Church in Austin. To this marriage 3 wonderful children were born, Anthony, Katherine, and Nicholas. Merrie and Jerry fell in love in September, 1961 and were about to celebrate their 53rd wedding anniversary this coming May. As a young girl, Merrie was a brownie, and then a girl scout. One of the highlights of Merrie’s youth was a trip with her Girl Scout troop to Savannah, Georgia, a memory Merrie never forgot. Merrie graduated from Pacelli High School in the class of 1960 and graduated from the Austin Vocational College of LPN Nursing in 1961.
In the earlier years of their marriage, the family moved frequently and resided in Minnesota, Iowa, South Dakota, and Arizona. Merrie was always excited about moving and felt it was a great adventure. Whenever the family moved to a new area, Merrie usually had a new Nursing position within a few days of arrival. Although Merrie worked 27 years in the nursing profession, she also loved bookkeeping and took several college accounting classes. Merrie held head bookkeeping positions for a chain of music stores in Iowa, a large ethanol plant, and an electronics distributing company. Merrie retired in June of 1997 at the age of 54 and thoroughly enjoyed her retirement years. Merrie was a true romantic and collected and read romance novels all her married life. At last count Merrie had a collection of over 5,000 carefully catalogued novels by her favorite authors.
Merrie also enjoyed several memorable RV camping adventures with her husband and children to the Black Hills, Yellowstone National Park, Tennessee, and many other wonderful trips. For the past several years, Merrie and Jerry had their RV on a seasonal site in the bluff country by Harmony and Merrie loved to go there on weekends. She always referred to these trips as mini vacations. Other hobbies Merrie enjoyed included knitting, crocheting, and playing bingo. Merrie had several appropriate bingo shirts such as “to hell with housework, let's play bingo”. Merrie also loved going out to eat with her sister Marlene and her mother every Wednesday night and then back to her home to play cards for a couple hours.
The most important things in Merrie’s life were her husband, her 3 children, her grandchildren, great grandchildren, and her home. Although we mourn Merrie’s passing, she will forever be in all our hearts.
Survivors include her husband, Jerry Johnson of Austin; three children, Anthony (Felicia) Johnson of Osage, IA, Katherine (Steve) Sollie of Austin and Nicholas (Chris) Johnson of St. Ansgar, IA; five grandchildren, Samantha (Josh) Kraske, Justine (Brandon) Harris, Emily (Dylan) Kildow, Mathew Johnson, Michele Johnson; three great-grandchildren, Fiona Kraske, Sullivan Kraske and Eloise Kildow; her mother Mildred King of Austin; four brothers, Richard (Laurie) King, II of Rose Creek, Robert King of Austin, Ronald (Teresa) King of Port St. Lucie, FL and Roger (Carol) King of Palm Beach Gardens, FL; four sisters, Michele Miller, Marlene (Norm) Blaser and Maureen Eklund all of Austin and Marcie King of Lyle. She was preceded in death by her father, Richard King, ESQ and one brother, Randy King.
Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 10:30 A.M., Wednesday, April 8, 2015 at St. Edward’s Catholic Church in Austin with Father James Steffes, officiating. Interment will follow the service at Calvary Cemetery. Visitation will be held from 4:00 to 7:00 P.M., Tuesday, April 7th at the Worlein Funeral Home and for one hour prior to the service at the church on Wednesday.