Inez Pauline Johnson

October 16, 1915 - September 07, 2012

Inez Pauline Johnson

October 16, 1915 - September 07, 2012


Inez Pauline Johnson

Inez Pauline Johnson entered life eternal Friday Sept. 7 at the age of 96. She was born October 16, 1915 to Peter and Ingeborg Gilbertson in Glenwood Minnesota. She relished farm life as the youngest of six children. Farm chores, the one room country school, the church, the community of Norwegian neighbors and relatives, and opportunity to explore the woods, lake, and fields of the farm filled Inezs growing years. She graduated from Glenwood High School, completed a teacher training program and went on to teach grades 1 through 8 for three years in several Minnesota one room schools.

In 1939 Inez married Ernest (Ernie) Johnson from Carpio North Dakota. They came to Washington and settled in Bellingham where their two daughters Carolyn and Martha were born during the years of WWII. Following Ernies duty in the Navy and as life settled into the postwar era, Inez and Ernie ventured into business. They moved to Ferndale where they owned and operated Johnsons Fine Food restaurant from 1946-1971. Those were busy, hardworking years of raising their family and growing their business.

Inez and Ernie enjoyed an early retirement with time for new pursuits before his death in 1983. They fished in BC lakes, traveled the US, Cananda, and Mexico by trailer, restored their Malloy house and filled it with friends and family which grew to include six grandchildren. Inez was a knitter, rose grower, and baker of delicious pies.

Inez exemplified faith, courage, curiosity, and independence. She gave the Norwegian title Fram, Fram to the book she wrote of her family history. This translates to Forward, Forward and is a fitting description of the way she lived her life. After Ernies death, Inez began a third career working as an administrative assistant for Representative Dennis Braddock through nine years of legislative sessions in Olympia.
Following that she became a volunteer worker at the Washington State Historical Archives located in Bellingham, applying her passion for historical research. Inez pursued her own roots with genealogical research and multiple trips to Norway as she compiled her family history with assistance of niece Jeannine Churchill.

Inez took an active part in supporting her community. She was a charter member of Christ Lutheran Church, Ferndale, where she shared her gift of music singing in the choir. She was a member of Chapter BQ, P.E.O. Other areas of fervent interest and service were Whatcom County Mental Health Board, Whatcom Community College Board of Trustees, WCC Foundation Board, and the Whatcom County Democratic party. She was a skilled translator of the Norwegian language and immersed herself in family genealogy.

Inez remained a loving supporter and encourager of her daughters and grandchildren together with their spouses. That support extended to the great grandchildren, of whom she kept a keen interest in their lives. Inez was preceded in death by her husband Ernie, brothers Orin, Guy, Chester, Walter, sister Mary, and great grandchild Natalie. She is survived by daughters Carolyn (Gary) Jonson of Ferndale, Martha (Gary) Sirguy of Port Angeles, grandchildren Erik (Stephanie) Jonson of Bellingham, Mark (Christina) Jonson of Sammamish, David (Crista) Jonson of Bellevue, Sarah (Dave) Stachofsky of Puyallup, Annelise (Travis) Lesmeister of Wenatchee, and Branden (Katie) Sirguy of Port Angeles. Her great grandchildren are Nathan, Joshua, Annika, and Elsa Jonson; Taylor and Jacob Jonson, Owen and baby girl soon to be born Jonson; Benjamin, Andrew, Logan, Nathan, and Anna Rose Stachofsky; Harper Lesmeister; and Emily, William, and Elise Sirguy. Inez is also survived by extended family of three sisters-in-law and nieces and nephews together with their families.

Farewell Tribute Information

A private graveside service will be held in September for interment of ashes at Greenacres. A Celebration of Life worship service will be Saturday Oct 20 at 11 am at Christ Lutheran Church, 5904 Vista Drive, Ferndale. Donations Information

Memorials in Inezs name may be made to Christ Lutheran Church, Whatcom Community College Foundation, Ferndale Dollars for Scholars, or to a charity of your choice.

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8 responses to Inez Pauline Johnson

  1. James Au says:

    I didn’t realize she passed away. My deepest condolences. I will remember her generosity in allowing me and my parents to stay at her lovely home just after graduating from Pacific University with Erik.

  2. She was my good friend and mentor, and a great friend to the commnity.

  3. Inez modeled strength, enthusiasm, vitality, and joy in her work. She had a tremendous capacity to care for others. I enjoyed a whole summer getting to know her better as she trained me to be a waitress at Johnson’s Fine Foods. Carolyn taught me how to drive the maroon ’35 Chevy the girls had used during college. Ernie suggested I paint the totem pole Gerald Gilbertson made for them. Most of all I have enjoyed my visits with Inez over the years sharing our hearts on the deep subjects of faith and government. As a university registrar, I admired Inez for her willingness to serve on the board for her local college. I also admired her courage to accept the position with the Washington Senator which meant learning to type and relocating to Olympia for several months each year. Inez stayed in touch with people, and she had wonderful stories to share with us. She will be missed, but always remembered.

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