Obituary: Lois Marie Johnson


December 30, 2022

Lois Marie Johnson passed away Sunday, Dec. 25, 2022, after a 10-year courageous battle with cancer, surrounded by her family. She was born April 22, 1952, in Duluth, the second daughter of Oscar and Ailie Sunnarborg.

Lois graduated from Cloquet High School in 1970, and married the love of her life, Ronald Leslie Johnson, on Dec. 16, 1972. Although Lois had aspirations of having a career, once she had children, her purpose in life changed to being a stay-at-home mother.

Once Derek and Natalie were a bit older and she had more bandwidth, she became a professional volunteer. She led a troop of Barnum Girl Scouts for six years, served in various roles at church and school functions, and was a township election judge for decades. Through all the years, she honed her knitting skills by creating various items for family members; but in her later years, her knitting projects were donated to schools, churches, hospitals and the homeless.

Her creativity was also expressed in a love for string instruments: she played the violin and the traditional Finnish lap harp, the kantele. She was an active member of the Kanteleen Soittajat, a local musical group.

She was baptized and a confirmed member of the Esko Apostolic Lutheran Church in Esko and former member of Salem Lutheran Church in Mahtowa.

Lois was a very caring and creative person, and touched so many people.

She was preceded in death by her parents, Oscar and Ailie; daughter-in-law, Karlynn Johnson; and brother-in-law, Dale Maikkula. She is survived by her husband, Ronald; children, Derek (Kristy) Johnson and Natalie (Calvin) Harris; sister, Myrna Maikkula; brothers, Al (Sharon) Sunnarborg and Neil (Debra) Sunnarborg; grandsons, Grant, Nathan and Trent Johnson; grand-dog Winston; and many cousins, nieces, nephews, and close friends.

The family would like to thank the staff at Cloquet Memorial Hospital, Diamond Willow Assisted Living, and St. Croix Hospice for their care of Lois the last few weeks of her earthly life. Also, a huge thank-you to Mayo Clinic and St. Luke's Hospital staff for their 10 years of care of Lois. In lieu of flowers, Lois requested memorials be given to Esko Apostolic Lutheran Church.

Visitation: 5-7 p.m. Friday, Dec. 30 and from 1 p.m. until the 2 p.m. memorial service Saturday, Dec. 31, all at the Apostolic Lutheran Church. A meal in the social hall will follow the service. Arrangements are entrusted to Nelson Funeral Care of Cloquet.


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