Margaret M. Johnson

Margaret Mae Johnson, 93, quietly passed away after the Easter Resurrection Sunday service, April 24, 2011 at GracePointe Gables West in Cambridge.

In 1866, A.W. Torell emigrated to America and eventually to Isanti County where he farmed in the summer and logged in the winter. He married Jennie Risk in 1881 and Herman G. Torell was born in 1889. In 1916, Herman married Ivy Wallin and started their family Oct. 2, 1917 with the arrival of Margaret Mae. She grew up in a Christian home in Cambridge and graduated from Cambridge High School in 1936 at the height of the Great Depression.

Her passion for people and God continued as she entered Mounds Midway Nursing School and graduated before WW II.  She soon married “Buck Private” Russell W. Johnson Dec. 5, 1941, just two days before Pearl Harbor. Russell served in the U.S. Army and Margaret followed and worked as a nurse around the country during those war years.

They settled in St. Paul as Russell began his teaching career at Bethel College and their first son, Stephen, was born in 1945. Dan followed in 1947 and Margaret became a full-time homemaker. They moved to Roseville in 1951 when Cindy was born and joined the new Calvary Baptist Church. She became a Den Mother for the Cub scouts, served on various women’s activities at Calvary and sang in the choir.  During the summers, the family camped and traveled around the country enhancing their children’s lives.

In 1971, they bought five acres in Isanti County to plan their retirement home. Grandview Christian Home soon asked her to coordinate the nursing staff and activities in the newly opened facility. They moved the next year and both worked full-time for a few years until official retirement in 1976. They enjoyed the following two decades living in the country as grandchildren, chickens, speaking engagements and traveling out west became their favorite activities.

Health concerns for both helped them to decide to move into Mill Ridge assisted living in 2000. After Russell passed away in 2002, Margaret moved into Grandview where she continued her living and sharing the Lord with grandchildren and great-grandchildren. She was the oldest of the family and her sisters Verlie, Ardelle and brother Wesley Torell all have passed away. The Torell/Johnson name in this family tree has now changed to Kuch, Hoekstra, Nitz, Niederson and Oberg but the family legacy has continued with the 6th generation in this part of Minnesota.

She is survived by sons, Steve [Marie] Johnson of California, Dan [Sherri] Johnson of Cambridge, daughter Cindi [Bob] Urlie of Bethel, Minn., six grandchildren and 10 great grandchildren.

Memorials will go to Bethel University Pre-Med & Nursing Scholarship fund in memory of Russell W. & Margaret M. Johnson.

A memorial service was held at GracePointe on April 26, 2011 in Cambridge. Arrangements were with the Carlson-Lillemoen Funeral Home and Cremation Services of Cambridge.