Lucille Johnson, 94, of Hoffman, formerly of Kensington, died Tuesday, October 24, 2023, at Bethany on the Lake in Alexandria.
Pies, cookies and lemon bars were in the oven shortly after Lucille Johnson, 94, of Hoffman (formerly Kensington) Minnesota danced her way through heaven’s gates on October 24th, 2023. The youngest of Herman and Frida Luepke’s 5 children, Lucille was born at the family home in Courtland Township Minnesota on January 20th, 1929. As a little girl, she loved life on the farm, but at the age of 5 she began her school years in New Ulm and lived with her aunt and uncle in town during the week. Every Sunday night one of her brothers would take her to town –usually on their way to a date – and every Friday her Pa and Ma would go to town to buy groceries and pick her up. Summers were spent on the farm riding her horse, Prince, and playing with her dog, Fido. Her Pa often took her fishing while her older siblings had to do chores. He told them that the fish were biting better during chores time! As a teenager, Lucille enjoyed roller skating and movies, but her favorite activity was dancing. That’s where she was introduced to a handsome young man by the name of Sydney Johnson, the love of her life. They dated for 3 years and were married on October 6th, 1946, in New Ulm. They worked as hired hands on several farms near Courtland and Lafayette, until they purchased a farm near Kensington Minnesota in the fall of 1958. Together they made the farm into a family home and raised 3 children – Debbie, Tom and Karen. Although Lucille was very busy on the farm, she was also very involved in the community. Her church was an important part of her life and volunteered in many areas including the LCW, mission work and Sunday School. She was a 4-H leader for many years, was involved with Farmers Union, was on the Kensington (and Kensington-Hoffman) school board for several terms and was on the Solem Township board for many years. At the farm, Lucille was ‘chief cook and bottle washer’, tractor driver and all around hired hand. Her home was always open to family and friends who needed a place to stay, or just wanted to share a meal. Anyone visiting the farm was invited to a meal, and Lucille was always happy to feed them. In addition to her work on the farm and her many volunteer activities, Lucille held several jobs throughout the years. Early in their marriage, Lucille worked as a waitress and later she was the First Lutheran Church secretary. She was a census taker several times, and for many years took applications for the Fuel Assistance Program. She always loved jobs where she could interact with people.
After her beloved Sydney passed away in 2003, Lucille decided to move to Kensington where she began the next chapter of her life. She loved her little white house in town and became active in Lion’s Club, 50 Plus Club and church missions. She spent many hours sewing kimonos and diapers for missions. Just as she would run out of flannel someone would bring her more and she would start again. And of course, there were the pies and lemon bars and cookies she would bake. She was given a sign that said “My Favorite Winter Hobby is Baking” but she would point at it and say it wasn’t just in the winter! Pies were her favorite, and she loved to gift them to friends around town.
In late 2021, her health began to fail, and the decision was made to move into Hoffman Assisted Living for the final chapter of her life. The biggest downfall of this move was that she was not able to bake pies and she reminded her family of that often. She did, however, love playing bingo, the spa bath and the hot coffee that was available all the time. Lucille made many friends among the staff and other residents during her 1 ½ years in Hoffman. Lucille’s health began to further deteriorate and on October 19th, she fell and broke her hip and shoulder. She entered her eternal home on October 24th, 2023, and is now dancing with her beloved Sydney once again.
Lucille is survived by her daughters Debbie (Rick) Petersen of Park Rapids MN, Karen (Arlen) Melzer of Gillette WY 9 grandchildren, 24 great grandchildren, 9 great-great grandchildren and numerous nieces and nephews. Lucille was preceded in death by her beloved Sydney, son Tom, her parents, siblings and best friend Elda.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests those who wish to express sympathy to consider making a donation to their favorite charity in Lucille Johnson’s name.
Lucille’s family would like to thank the staff at Hoffman Assisted Living for their love and devotion during her time with them. You are all a blessing!
Funeral Services will be at 1:00 PM Saturday, October 28, 2023, at First Lutheran Church in Kensington, with visitation starting at 12:00 noon until the time of the service.
Officiating: Vern Hedlin, S.A.M.
Burial at First Lutheran Cemetery, rural Kensington.
Erickson-Smith Funeral Home of Hoffman is in charge of arrangements.