Shirley Johnson, 82, of Warren, MN, departed this life in peace of Christ, surrounded by her family, on the morning of Wednesday, November 11, 2020, in North Star Manor, Warren.
Shirley Mae Johnson began her life on May 18, 1938. Born Shirley Mae Stark, she was the youngest of four children born to Walter and Gyda Stark of rural Angus, MN. She and her older siblings (brother, Dale, and sisters, Marilyn and Marlyce) grew up on the family farm, tending to chores and developing the work ethic associated with country life. She attended grade school in Angus and graduated from high school in Warren.
At an early age, it became evident that Shirley had been gifted with the ability to sing harmony. She and her two older sisters became a vocal trio known locally as “The Stark Sisters”, and provided music for church services , camp meetings, funerals, and other special occasions.
While attending Bible Camp, Shirley caught the eye of James Johnson, a young farmer from Warren. When Jim asked her if she would accompany him to the evening service: Shirley agreed.
Their blossoming relationship was not without its difficulties; Jim was inducted into the the Army, bound for Korea, while Shirley enrolled at North Park College in Chicago. Though half a world apart, the two wrote letters to each other almost daily. After a year at North Park, Shirley worked as a bank teller in Minneapolis. The letters continued...
Jim proposed: once again, Shirley agreed.
Shirley and Jim were united in marriage on December 27, 1958, in the Covenant Church of Warren. They settled on the Johnson farm, three miles west of town. Together they worked the land and raised three sons. Through the years, Shirley drove trucks and tractors, worked as a seamstress, patched hundreds of pairs of blue jeans, cooked thousands of meals, fed countless hired hands, and shared her love for Jesus every time the opportunity presented itself
In addition to the demands of being a farm wife, Shirley was active in her church. She led youth groups, assisted with Bible classes, organized Christmas programs, cooked for social events, supported missionaries, served as a deaconess, and continued to sing in duos and trios when called upon. She contributed to the Marshall County Historical Society, devoting her time, items, and financial support. She also enjoyed handicrafts, camping, fishing, deer and bear hunting, snowmobiling, gardening, and being surrounded by nature. In her later years, her greatest joy was, without a doubt, her grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
All who knew her will attest to the fact that Shirley was a faithful friend and tireless prayer-warrior, ever content in her station in life: a thankful steward of every blessing entrusted to her.
When told by doctors that her afflictions would only worsen with time, Shirley's response was, “Ill still have Jesus.” It is that statement that best reflects who Shirley was: a country girl with a simple, childlike faith, a servant's heart, and a song of praise on her lips. Shirley has now been called home to be with the Savior she loved, and her family give thanks for the blessing she was... and the reward that is now hers.
She is survived by her husband, James E. Johnson of Warren; sons, Stefan J. (Phyllis) Johnson of St. Cloud, MN, Eric J. (Lori) Johnson, and Neil J. (Diane) Johnson all of Warren; five grandchildren; and eleven great-grandchildren.
The Family of Shirley Johnson wishes to express their heartfelt thanks to the staff at North Star Manor for caring so well for the lady that was so precious to us. May God Bless each and every one of you.
PRIVATE SERVICE: Tuesday, November 17, 2020 in the Evangelical Covenant Church, Warren, MN.
GRAVESIDE SERVICE: Greenwood Cemetery, Warren, MN.
To watch a video of Shirley's funeral service, please click the link below:
To send flowers to Shirley's family, please visit our floral store.