Johnson Geneva Johnson (Mrs. Erling O. Johnson), of Anoka, died on March 5, 2002 at the Eagle Street Residence in Coon Rapids where she had been living since July 25, 2001. Geneva Eleanor (Nyberg) Johnson was born on April 14, 1907 at Lake Benton, Minnesota to Carl Thomas and Matilda (Broberg) Nyberg. Her grandparents were early settlers of Lincoln County and Lake Benton. Geneva graduated from Lake Benton High School and continued her education at Mankato State University where she received preparation for teaching in the primary grades. From 1928 until 1937, Geneva taught first grade in Janesville, Minnesota. On August 3, 1937, she married Erling O. Johnson who had just become Superintendent of Janesville Public Schools. From then on, Geneva devoted her life to supporting her husband's career which took them to Mountain Lake, Northfield, Mankato, St. Paul, and Anoka. Erling retired as Superintendent of the Anoka-Hennepin School District in 1975. In retirement, he became active in the American Association for Retired Persons (AARP), ultimately serving as Chairman of the national organization. Geneva and Erling traveled throughout the United States on behalf of AARP. Throughout her life, Geneva was active in the Episcopal Church. She was baptized, confirmed, and married at St. John's, Lake Benton. Subsequently, she was very active in St. John's, Janesville; All Saints, Northfield; St. John's, Mankato; St. Christopher's, Roseville; and Trinity, Anoka. Geneva was active in PEO for 54 years. She joined Chapter G in Northfield in 1948 and was recently a member of Chapter Z in Anoka. She was also active in PEO Chapters in Mankato and St. Paul. Geneva volunteered for a variety of charities, but most importantly for Mercy Hospital in Coon Rapids where she had over 4,000 hours of service spanning 34 years. When it became impossible for her to volunteer alone, Erling teamed up with her. They continued to volunteer until January 2001. Music was an important part of Geneva's early life. She played the piano and organ, sang in church choirs, and played the violin in the Mankato State Orchestra. Geneva was the last surviving member of her generation of the Nyberg family. She was preceded in death by her parents; and three sisters, Mrs. Walter K. Doss (Elsie) of Fergus Falls, Minnesota and Mesa, Arizona, Mrs. Fred Peinert (Besse) of Lake Benton, and Mrs. Kenneth E. Jackson (Lelia) of Osakis, Minnesota. Geneva is survived by her beloved husband and companion of 64 years, Erling; her daughter, Kathy (Mrs. Eric P. Grimsrud) of Bozeman, Montana; her sons, Bill of Chaska and Jim of St. Paul; and her four grandchildren, Dr. Amy Janice (Grimsrud) Anderson of Dixon, California, Timothy Erling Grimsrud of St. Louis Park, Paul Alton Grimsrud of Bozeman and St. Olaf College, Northfield, and Emily Geneva Grimsrud of Bozeman and State College, Pennsylvania. Services will be held at 2:30 PM on Saturday, March 9 at Trinity Episcopal Church, 1415 6th Avenue South, Anoka, with a reception following at the church. Visitation will be held on Friday, March 8, from 5 to 8 PM at Trinity. Family interment will be held on Saturday preceding the services. The family requests no flowers. Memorials may be directed to the Thurston Foundation, 420 East Main Street, Suite 203, Anoka, Minnesota, 55303 or to Trinity Church. Thurston-Lindberg 762-421-0220
Published on March 7, 2002
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