Bertha Grace Johnson
Bertha Grace Johnson, seventh child of Delbert and Bertha Anderson Johnson, was born on 12 May 1930 in Virden, New Mexico. Her childhood was spent playing in the Gila River, filling her pockets with frogs, and swimming in irrigation ditches. Grace had few memories of her father, who died shortly after her 6th birthday. At an early age she started ironing clothes, cleaning houses, and working on the farm to help support her family.
On Nov. 14, 1946, she married Evan Russell “Wash” Johnson, the handsome young soldier who, in the summer of 1945, circled his car back when she and her friends whistled at him from the potato shed near Virden. He followed her family to Eugene, Oregon, married her, and brought her back to Duncan where they raised their three children.
In 1960, Grace enrolled in Duncan High School as a 30-year-old junior and received her diploma in 1962. She was an excellent seamstress and loved to crochet and knit. Her friendly and outgoing nature served her well during her career at the General Utilities Company and Duncan Valley Electric Cooperative. A member of the Duncan Public Library Board from 1965 to 2006, Grace played a proud part in bringing a new library building to Duncan, reading many of the books before putting them on the shelves. She faithfully planned biennial family reunions, making treasured memories with nieces and nephews who held a special place in her heart.
Our “Amazing Grace” was welcomed in Heaven by her parents, siblings, husband, and youngest son, Robert. Surviving are her children, Don, Kerry (Bruce) Elam, and daughter-in-law Patti (Tony Williams). Grandchildren Monica (James), Mindy (Dan), Melynda (Peter), Troy (Amanda), and Kira (Karianne); great-grandchildren Kaitlynn, Kayla, Nathan, Karsyn, Evan, Aydin, Sydney, Malachi, Fynley, Quinn, Addison, Makalyn, Isaiah, and Eliza.
A graveside service will be held at 10 AM MST on Saturday, May 8 at the Virden Cemetery.