Frances Elaine Johnson
February 27, 1932 – May 14, 2021
Always in our hearts
Frances Elaine Johnson, 89, passed peacefully from this life on 14 May 2021, surrounded by her four children.
She was born Frances Elaine Force (she preferred Elaine) at a home in Ponca, Nebraska, in February 1932. The doctor told her father to expect one stillborn child. Instead, living twins were born. The twins, Elaine and her ten-minutes-older brother Robert Duane, were the second and third children of Robert and Fern Force (the eldest child was a daughter, Elizabeth Jean).
Elaine lived in Ponca until 1940, when she moved with her parents and siblings to Portland, Oregon. In 1950, she moved to Colorado to enroll in the University of Colorado at Boulder. She married Charles Bernel Johnson in June 1953; they divorced in 1987. Beginning in early 1954 she lived in Ontario, Oregon with her parents for about 16 months while her husband served with the U. S. Army in Korea. Their first child, Eric, was born in Ontario in July 1954. Following her husband’s return to the U. S., the small family moved to the Denver metro area. Children Teresa (Teri) (March 1956), Mark (October 1957), and Karl (May 1961) were born there. In November 1964, Elaine and her family moved to Sterling, Colorado, and lived there until August 1970, when they moved back to the Denver metro area. From early 1983 through mid-1987, Elaine lived in Perry Park, southwest of Castle Rock, Colorado. Afterward, Elaine lived in Lakewood, Colorado.
Elaine learned to ski in Oregon when she was in high school. One reason she chose to go to college in Colorado was for skiing. In later life, she cross-country skied, hanging up her skis for the last time at age 81. She also enjoyed recreational bicycling. She preferred to cycle and ski with groups of her friends.
Following her graduation from Portland’s Franklin High School in 1949, Elaine worked for a year as a telephone operator, saving her money in order to afford college. She worked in food service at school, and in food service and as a telephone operator during breaks from college when she was home. During her marriage, she did not work outside the home until September 1968, when she began working as a paraprofessional and teacher at the HARTS program in Sterling, a school for special needs children. After her move back to the Denver Metro area, starting in September 1972, she worked as a paraprofessional at the Robert Weiland School in Jefferson County. She completed her Bachelor of Arts degree in August 1975 at the University of Northern Colorado, and became a teacher at the Robert Weiland School, working in the elementary, secondary, and vocational areas, until her retirement at age 65 in June 1997. Afterward, through 2011 (age 79), she continued to serve part-time as a substitute paraprofessional and teacher at the Weiland School and at several elementary schools in Jefferson County.
Elaine was an active member of many churches over the years, most recently Lutheran Church of the Master in Lakewood, Colorado.
Elaine is survived by four children (Eric Johnson, Teri Bryant, Mark Johnson, and Karl Johnson), nine grandchildren, and nine great-grandchildren. Elaine was preceded in death by her parents and siblings.
The dedicated and skilled staff of Lutheran Hospice helped Elaine immensely as she neared the end of her life. For this she was extremely grateful.
Saturday, June 12, 2021
Frances Elaine Johnson
May 17, 2021
Elaine was one of those people who brought a feeling of friendship to all she met. Her laughter would fill a room and warm the most anxious heart, lingering there with a renewal of calm. When this lady entered your life, you had a true friend for years to come. Adventure seemed to be her middle name. She was ever ready to undertake any new challenge, and always the first to encourage you to do the same. So many families have been enriched by Elaine Johnson having entered their lives. Rest in peace, dear lady. We love you.