Cover photo for Shirley Mae Johnson's Obituary
Shirley Mae Johnson Profile Photo
1924 Shirley 2020

Shirley Mae Johnson

May 18, 1924 — August 24, 2020

Shirley Mae Olsen Johnson, age 96, beloved mother, grandmother and great grandmother went to be with her Lord while under the care of Ecumen Hospice on August 24, 2020.

She was born in St. Paul on May 18, 1924 to Dr. George T. Olsen and Lillian Gjerdahl Olsen.  She was raised in Pine City where her father was a dentist.  She lived in Pine City and the West Rock area her entire life until having a stroke three years ago when she moved to Assisted Living at Ecumen, North Branch, Minnesota. 

Shirley is preceded in death by her parents, her loving husband Lonnie G. Johnson, long time dairy farmer in West Rock/Rock Creek area, her brother George Olsen, Jr. and sister Mary Olsen Broz.

She and Lonnie met on a blind date with friends after they had graduated different years from Pine City High School.  They were married January 16, 1943. They celebrated their 65th Wedding Anniversary before Lonnie died in a car crash August 27, 2008.

She is survived by her eight children, Sandy Ware (Roy), Cindy Boomsma (Jake), Lonna Sahr (Lyn), Shari Lawson (Jon), Lonnie K. Johnson (Jeanne), Jody Karas (Dave), Todd Johnson (Kari), Jeff Johnson (Chris) and 28 grandchildren and 61great grandchildren.

Shirley was an amazing joy-filled woman loved by all.  She attended the U of M for one semester planning to become a medical technologist but instead returned home and married Lonnie and became a dairy farmer’s wife. She knew nothing about farm life and had a lot to learn having been raised in the town of Pine City.  She worked for about 15 years as a telephone operator for Northwestern Bell Telephone Company until they relocated to the Twin Cities.  She was an active member in her community belonging to several different clubs: 4-H Leader for 30 years for the West Rockettes 4-H and the Ambitious Pines 4-H clubs, Pine City and Grasston Homemakers, Pine City Historical Society, Garden Club, United Methodist Woman and numerous Bible Studies. She and Lonnie also bowled together on a Pine City bowling league for many years.  They also enjoyed snowmobiling, golfing, camping and fishing.

They were active members of the West Rock Methodist Church and Pine City United Methodist Church until it closed and then they became members of the Evangelical Free Church.

She was an amazing mother who raised eight children with the last one being born at age 42.  After she and Lonnie retired from the dairy farm in West Rock, they bought a home on Lake Pokegama where she and Lonnie lived for 20 years before he died in 2008. She loved being on the lake because swimming was her favorite pastime since she was raised a few blocks from the Snake River in Pine City. Three years later after Lonnie died, she bought a town home in Pine City.

Shirley was a woman of deep faith, always optimistic and so courageous and loved life, even after suffering a debilitating stroke three years ago.  She was always a fighter trying to get stronger with physical therapy, occupational therapy, and water therapy.  She did not give up even though she was paralyzed on her left side.

She will be greatly missed by her family as she was our role model and an inspiration to all of us. She loved her family and we are thankful and blessed that she was able to be with us for all these years.

A visitation for the community will be held on Friday, August 28, 2020 at Pine City Evangelical Free Church Lighthouse from 5:00-7:30 PM.

A Celebration of Life for immediate family (grandchildren and great grandchildren ) will be held at Evangelical Free Church, Pine City, Minnesota on Saturday August 29, 2020. Interment will be at Johnson Memorial Cemetery, West Rock, Minnesota.

In lieu of flowers, memorials can be sent to Lonnie G Johnson Agricultural Scholarship,
Pine City Evangelical Free Church, Ruby's Pantry, or Ecumen Hospice.

The Family of Shirley Johnson would like to thank the staff at Ecumen North Branch for overseeing her care for the past three years while she was in assisted living.  The staff always enjoyed her fun sense of humor and her friendly optimistic attitude.  Thank you to her Nurse Practitioner with Bluestone Physicians who oversaw her care and to the staff at Kindred Care who cared for her from time to time.  Lastly, we have much gratitude for the staff at Ecumen Hospice who cared for our mother during her last days of her life.

Funeral arrangements for Shirley Johnson are entrusted to:  Funeral and Cremation Service of Pine City, Swanson Chapel


To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Shirley Mae Johnson, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services


Friday, August 28, 2020

5:00 - 7:30 pm (Central time)

Pine City Evangelical Free Church - Lighthouse

1045 Main St S, Pine City, MN 55063

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