Gloria Sylvia Johnson

Jan. 18, 1927-June 14, 2024

CLARKFIELD–Gloria Sylvia Johnson was born on January 18, 1927, in Okabena, MN, to Frederick and Minnie (Reimers) Siemers. She and her eight siblings were raised in the ways of simple living and hard work on the farm until Gloria lost her mother at just 10 years old. In her early teens she became indispensable to her family’s farming operation. Working with draft horses, Gloria planted a variety of crops and was her dad’s quintessential farm hand while attending country school in Jackson County, near Okabena. Each day she rode to and from school on a horse and buggy until she was able to drive as a teenager. At 17, Gloria began working as a waitress at a café in Windom, MN, when she met Vernon Johnson on a blind date, and the couple were married on January 28, 1945, at Aunt Laura and Uncle Bill’s house in Windom. Gloria and Vernon had six children: Phyllis, Paulette, LaVern, Marlynn, Loren, and Richard, whom they also raised in the ways of farming in Normania Township.

Thanks to her childhood, Gloria was no stranger to hard work and the demands that go along with being a farm wife. She raised garden produce to provide for her family. She was also a very proficient, self-taught seamstress, whose skills enabled her to provide handmade clothing for her children, mother-in-law and other neighbors and family. By word-of-mouth, Gloria and her sewing talents became highly sought-after as she was called upon to make bridal gowns and bridesmaid dresses, tailoring, and even custom drapes for an interior design business in Marshall. Gloria’s love of sewing transformed into a small upholstery business that she ran from around 1967 until she was 92 in 2019. In 1971, Gloria and Vernon moved an old chicken coop onto the farm, renovated it and moved her upholstery business from the family home dining room into the new shop. When Vernon retired, she recruited his help disassembling furniture so that she could put it back together with style. Over the years, Gloria and Vernon loved to go dancing and socializing with neighbors and friends. Gloria’s compassion for animals resulted in the adoption and rescue of many pets throughout her lifetime.

Gloria and Vernon lived on the Johnson family farm in Normania Township from 1952 until 2006. They sold the farm in 2006 and moved “into town” to spend their golden years in Clarkfield. Gloria was able to live in her current home in town from 2006 until just a couple of months ago when she moved into the Clarkfield Care Center. On Friday, June 14, 2024, at the age of 97, Gloria was called home for another dance with Vernon. She is preceded in death by her parents, Fred and Minnie Siemers; husband, Vernon; sons, LaVern and Marlynn Johnson; four grandchildren: Mark Olson, Tina Dooley (and husband Walter Dooley), Todd Wold, and Travis Johnson; sons-in-law, Gary Hall and Dan Bazis, and her eight siblings.

Gloria is survived by her children, Phyllis Hall of Irving, Texas, Paulette O’Connell & (Randy Miller) of Clarkfield, Loren Johnson & (Vanessa Wolf) of Los Angeles, California, and Richard Johnson of Mankato; 11 grandchildren; 20 great-grandchildren; 6 great-great-grandchildren; 4 great-great-great-grandchildren, and many nieces and nephews.

Visitation with the family will be on Saturday, June 22, 2024, at 12 p.m. at St. Lucas Lutheran Church, rural Cottonwood, followed by a memorial service at 1 PM. In lieu of flowers, memorial gifts are preferred to Hawk Creek Animal Shelter (the Humane Society of Kandiyohi and Meeker Counties,) or a local humane society of the donor’s choice. Arrangements are with the J.H. Lynner Funeral Home in Clarkfield www.jhlynner.com