Surrounded by love and family, Gloria Mae Johnson, 91, passed away on February 22, 2022 in Superior. She was born on May 28, 1930 to Signe (Wickstrom) and James K. Nelson.
She graduated from Superior’s East High School in 1948 and later worked for the Stacks department store, where she also modeled and went on a buying trip to New York. From an early age, Gloria had a real talent for writing letters. They were more than just pen on paper, they were beautifully handwritten in penmanship like penmanship and expressed with the right words. This talent led her to a career writing commercials for local radio and television. While working at WDSM, she was instrumental in the first Northern Town Christmas Parade and many more after that. She then served as Director of Public Relations at the College of St. Scholastica, then returned to WDSM/KBJR and retired as Director of Continuity.
Gloria had many talents and interests. Endowed with a beautiful voice, she sang solos at weddings and on special occasions. She was known for singing a Swedish lullaby while rocking the family’s newest baby to sleep. She was also a member of the Pilgrim Lutheran Church and sang in the choir for many years. She was an excellent seamstress and made exquisitely detailed garments, including wedding outfits, quilts, and doll clothes. She loved saving up for antiques and had a wonderful collection of cookbooks and dolls. She read her cookbooks like other people read romance novels, which perhaps explained why she was such a good cook. Today, these cookbooks are among her family’s most treasured possessions. She joined a Doll Club, a group of women who shared her love of dolls and where she made many good friends. She had a “doll’s room” in her house. A guest bedroom with wall-to-wall shelves of dolls that are now loved by several of her granddaughters.
Gloria was the family historian, researching her ancestors, collecting documents and photos before the popularity of computers. For years she exchanged letters with her Swedish cousins Marta Greta and Thord Trosell and fulfilled her dream of visiting them with a trip to Sweden.
At 87, she embraced the unexpected news of her biological paternal family through DNA testing. She was overcome with tears of joy the day she met two brothers, Clyde and Ted VanBuskirk who welcomed her with open arms.
Gloria loved to travel, but the closest and dearest place to her heart was the family estate along the Poplar River. Affectionately known as “The Farm”. A rustic cabin built by his grandfather, it was the family getaway where children could run and explore, cross rocks and swim in the river.
Gloria’s sense of humor and quick wit brightened the lives of all who knew her. She had a knack with words that could make you gasp and laugh at the same time. She was a remarkable woman, a selfless mother and everyone’s favorite friend. To say she will be missed is an understatement, her spirit and memory will forever be in our hearts. Because to know her was to love her.
Prior to her death were her parents, her ex-husband, Francis Johnson, her daughter-in-law, Kathleen Johnson, her brothers, George Nelson, Ted VanBuskirk, her brother-in-law, Dale Grothe, her sister-in-law, Barbara VanBuskirk, and a very special friend. , Warner Wellman, with whom she found love later. She said, “Young love may be wonderful, but old love is magic!”
Gloria is survived by her six children. Twins, Francis Scott Johnson and Christine (JR) Robbins, Julianna (Dan) Larson, Randal Johnson, Brenda (Mitchell) Johnson and Suzanne Johnson.
Twenty-one grandchildren; Courtney (Trevor) Clark, Julianne Delmissier, Sam (Miranda Keuntjes) Paulus, Stefanie (Jake) Mohr, Tiffany (Jimmy) Jensen, Lindsey Karvonen, Kathryn (Travis) Landrum, Karen (Nathan) Larson, Dana (Josh) Glonek, Ashley (Jerry Paine) Amundson, Ben (Gloria) Robbins, Phillip (Morgan Johnson) Sorensen, Alex (Britney) Slind, Audrey (Adam) McCann, Brian (Katie) Sorensen, Ben Johnson, Carly (Ty) Botten, Karinna (John) Duffey, Brecken Kenner, Taylor (Paul) Edwards and Ruth Johnson.
Thirty-two great-grandchildren; Gloria, Jacqueline and Faye Glonek, Lola and Tripp Delmissier, Sawyer and Nora Slind, Will, Elle and Julia Clark, Canyon, Maddie, Kate and Gunner Mohr, Rowan Sorensen, Jence, Annabelle and Henrik Sorensen, Claire Duffey, Rorie and Sophie Woodfill , Evan and Kinsley Larson, Lucy and Bo Landrum, Kaitlin Paulus, Devyn and Whitley Botten, Levi and Violet Jensen. Nathan and Anthony Keuntjes, and there are two more on the way.
Gloria is also survived by her sisters, Karin (William) King and Cynthia Grothe, who took loving care of her. Brother Clyde VanBuskirk, several nieces, nephews, cousins and friends.
The family would like to thank Gloria’s new friends and caregivers; Tammy, Mike and Peggy, to name a few, who treated their mother with the utmost respect and compassion and shared light-hearted laughs with her.
A moment of remembrance and celebration of Gloria’s life will be held from 3:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m., Saturday, May 21, 2022, at Lakeside Town Hall, 3196 S. Poplar River Rd., Poplar, WI.
If desired, the family asks those wishing to express sympathy to consider making a donation in Gloria’s name to CASDA (Center Against Sexual and Domestic Abuse)
Lenroot-Maetzold Funeral Home, 1209 E 5th Street, Superior is helping the family make arrangements. To leave condolences or sign the guest book, please visit our website at www.lenroot-maetzold.com