Barbara L. Johnson, 99, of Lakewood passed away peacefully on September 10, 2020 after a brief time in Hospice care.
She was born October 2, 1920 to William O. and Magdelene (Lena) Nielsen in a home on 6th Street in Fairbury, Nebraska. She grew up with her brother, Bill, and cousin, Aileen, in that same two bedroom house with the large garden and chickens out back. She learned to play piano on a piano that her dad traded for a carload of coal, and played piano, sang, and enjoyed music throughout her life. Barbara graduated from Fairbury High in 1938, and worked as a dental technician for Dr. Hull prior to her marriage.
She left her childhood home to marry Edward W. Johnson, also of Fairbury, on May 3, 1942. Barbara followed Ed to several wartime postings including Pratt, Kansas and Lowry Air Base and she worked as a dental technician both in Pratt and at Fitzsimons Army Medical Center in Aurora. She remained in Denver when Ed shipped out to Okinawa, and she continued to work while Ed attended Colorado University after the war. After moving to Wichita, Kansas for an unhappy year with Ed’s first job, Barb and Ed moved back to Colorado in 1952 and settled in a log house in Buffalo Park outside of Evergreen, with chickens and ducks out back, and they lived there when their son, Charles was born in 1957.
The family moved to Lakewood in 1960, where they raised their son, and Barbara planted large gardens of vegetables and flowers, but raised no chickens, and she continued to live there until about one year prior to her death. Barbara loved to garden and enjoyed flowers wherever she traveled. The family traveled extensively including trips to Japan and Europe. Barbara and Ed continued to travel to countries in Europe, and around the USA by both Amtrak and in their motorhome after Charles had graduated and married his wife Cathy. After Ed passed away in 1996, Barbara traveled with friends to the Great Wall of China, and to Russia, with a niece to the Adriatic, and with Charles to Israel in 2010 among other trips.
Barbara and Ed were active in the Evergreen Christian Church from their time in Evergreen, until her death, and they developed lifelong friendships there, sang in the choir, and she directed the youth Choristers choir. She helped Ed in the family business by answering phone calls, and was the voice of the company to many customers. Barbara was also active for more than 30 years as a volunteer at the Blood Bank, and was a docent at the Denver Museum of Nature and Science in the Native American exhibit.
Barbara especially enjoyed her time with her family, including her son, Charles, granddaughters, Rheannon, Aubrey, Ryleigh, and Ariana, and great-grandsons Jeremy and Logan, as well as great-granddaughters Sophie and Vivian. She was very close to her nephew Dave, and nieces Becky, Linda, Sue, and Debbie, and their extended families. She was cherished as Aunt Barb to many, Grandmother to a special few, and Mom to her son.
Barbara had extensive family in Nebraska, and kept in touch with her cousins, and many of their extended families through annual family reunions in Fairbury. She looked forward to those reunions for several months as a special time to reconnect with her more distant family.
She was a friend to many, and she had many wonderful friends that kept in touch with her throughout her life. Those friendships were very dear to her. Thanks.
In lieu of flowers, the family is requesting donations be made to Evergreen Christian Church, or Tennyson Center for Children, both organizations that she supported and cared for deeply.
"Praise God from whom all blessings flow…"