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Gudrun O. Johnson

June 19, 1912 January 5, 2011
Gudrun O. Johnson
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Obituary for Gudrun O. Johnson

Gudrun O. Johnson, 98, died at Comforts of Home January 5, 2011 in Frederic, WI.


She was born in Arneberg-Solor, Norway, June 19, 1912, the daughter of Karen Olsen and Olaf Strand. Her parents passed away when she was quite young and she lived in Arneberg and Oslo, with relatives, until she was 9 years old and then came to American to live with her aunt and uncle, Kristine and Ole Anderson, in Hudson, WI.


Having started grade school in Norway, she graduated from Hudson High School in 1932, and went on to graduate from UW-River Falls and started teaching in the one-room classroom at the Hoover School in 1934. After teaching in the Hersey and Baldwin Schools, in 1945 she accepted a job teaching third grade at the Frederic Elementary School, in Frederic, WI.


In 1946 she met William Johnson, the Industrial Arts (now known as Tech Ed.) teacher. They were married in 1949, and worked together to build a house and a family in Frederic.


Gudrun continued working in the Frederic School System until 1975, in the classroom as well as directing the innovative Title 1 program that did home evaluations of pre-school children to see what special needs they might have when they started school.


After retiring from the classroom, she continued teaching the Norwegian cultural heritage arts of language, rosemaling, and hardanger embroidery with WITC or Community Education programs. While residing at Comforts of Home, for the last two years, she finished her teaching career by teaching the staff Norwegian words and phrases.

Throughout her life in Frederic, she was always volunteering to make the community better as a member of the Hospital Auxiliary, the 20th Century Club, and the Frederic Area Historical Society, often serving as president or chairperson of committees.


Gudrun was a devoted member of St. Luke’s United Methodist Church and spent many years as Sunday School Superintendent and teaching Sunday School.


To stay connected with other people who had immigrated to America, she was a member of the Solorlag of America, and attended Sons of Norway events.


She made her first of several trips back to Norway in 1947, and was visited by relatives and friends from Norway many times.


Gudrun and Bill were honored as Frederic’s Citizens of the Year in 1978.


Gudrun was preceded in death by her parents, husband Bill, infant son David C. Johnson, brothers Gunnar, Johannes, Arnold, and Norman.


She is survived by sons William and Daniel of Frederic, nieces Holly (Anderson) Duerre, Candy (Anderson) Lupient, Peggy (Meeker) Johnson, Jane Meeker, and Joan (Anderson) Prescott, and nephew Gary Anderson, and their families.


A memorial service is planned for Saturday, April 2, 2011 at 10AM at St. Lukes United Methodist Church in Frederic, WI - visitation will begin at 9:00 a.m. followed by a service at 10:00 a.m. Online condolences may be left at www.rowefh.com . For additional information call Bruce Rowe at 715-327-4475.

Memorials are requested by the family to be directed to: The Frederic Area Historical Society, PO Box 1; The Citizen’s Scholarship Foundation of Frederic, PO Box 284; The Friends of the Pool, PO Box 274; St. Luke’s Methodist Church, PO Box 279; all in Frederic, WI 54837 or the Arnell Memorial Humane Society, 185 Griffin St. E., Amery, WI 54001.


Rowe Funeral Home of Frederic is entrusted with the arrangements.

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