Gwenn Johnson

April 19, 1934-Dec. 2, 2013

BROOKINGS, S.D. – Services for Gwenn Johnson, 79, will be 10:30 a.m. Saturday at First Lutheran Church in Brookings, with burial in Old Woodlawn Cemetery at Pipestone. Visitations will be from 5-6:30 p.m. Friday at Eidsness Funeral Home in Brookings.

She died Monday, Dec. 2, 2013, at her home in Brookings after a long, courageous struggle with heart failure.

Gwendolyn Grace (Harms) Johnson was born April 19, 1934, in Arlington, S.D., to William and Grace (Bernstein) Harms. She moved frequently with her family during her childhood between SD and MN. She graduated from Pipestone High School in 1952 and then attended SDSU for two years as an English major. On Feb. 14, 1955, she married George Lloyd Johnson in Brookings. She raised two children and farmed in North Dakota, South Dakota, and Minnesota. She and George went separate ways in 1982.

After working various part time jobs, she returned to college at Southwest Minnesota State University and received a bachelor’s degree in sociology. She then went on to school at South Dakota State University receiving a master’s degree in counseling and found work with Lutheran Social Services and in private practice. She retired in 2006 and moved to Brookings.

Gwenn was active in church throughout her life and was a member of St. Stephen Lutheran Church in Marshall. She enjoyed bird watching, camping, hiking, walking, gardening, reading and writing poetry. Though wheelchair bound after breaking her femur three years ago, she was uncomplaining and maintained a positive attitude.

Survivors include her two children: Kenny Ray (and Bonnie) Johnson of Lakefield and Debra Kay Johnson of Brookings; two grandchildren: Nicole (and Steve) Tidyman of Lakefield and Jared Johnson of Lakefield; two great-grandchildren: Aubree and Landon Tidyman; three sisters: Betty (and Sheldon) Stewart of Brookings, Bonnie Nelson of Beresford, S.D., and Mary (and Dean) Nordseth of Sioux Falls, S.D.; and many nieces and nephews.

She was preceded in death by her parents and a grandson, Justin Johnson.