Longtime Alaskan Shirley May Johnson died Saturday, March 7, 2009, at Providence Alaska Medical Center with family members at her side. She was 73.
A service will be held this summer where she will be buried next to her husband, Dale, at Fort Richardson National Cemetery.
Mrs. Johnson was born, June 25, 1935, in Mitchell, S.D., to Martin and Ella Tischler. She grew up on a family owned farm in South Dakota, where she loved riding horses.
She met her husband on Dec. 31, 1952, and they were married Oct. 17, 1953, in Mitchell. They had two children. The family moved to the Kenai Peninsula in 1959 and lived there for 49 years.
She worked as a homemaker, caring for her husband, their children and home. When her husband retired in 1985, they enjoyed traveling, spending time with their grandchildren and working around the house. Mrs. Johnson especially enjoyed riding and caring for her horse, Lady.
"She was a loving mother and grandmother, and we all know that she is in a happier place now. We miss her dearly," her family said.
Mrs. Johnson was preceded in death by her husband, Dale Johnson.
She is survived by her son, Dale Johnson Jr., of Kenai; daughter and son-in-law, Julie and Bob Vathke of Gustavus; granddaughter, Anna and her husband, Ethan; grandsons, Dale and his wife, Mindy, and Christopher, all of Anchorage; great-grandchildren, Kyler and Austin Johnson; brothers, Jack and his wife, Bonnie, Tischler of Mitchell, and Bob and Don Tischler.
Arrangements are being handled by Kehl's Funeral Home in Anchorage.
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