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Dorothy J. Johnson

Dorothy J. Johnson Dorothy J. Johnson


Dorothy Jean Johnson ended her earthly journey peacefully on Feb. 29, 2020, after more than 91 years, surrounded by loved ones. A service celebrating Dorothy’s life will be held at Our Savior’s Lutheran Church, 1300 Mansfield Ave., Chippewa Falls, on Saturday, March 7 at 11 a.m. with Pastor Jim Johnson officiating. The family will greet family and friends from 9 a.m. until the time of the service at the church. Burial will be in Evergreen Cemetery in Stanley.

Dorothy was born the youngest child of Peter and Anna (Rapko) Hodowanic on Jan. 28, 1929. She grew up on her parent’s dairy farm in rural Gilman, attending Sunnyview School through eighth grade. Her faith was grounded in the Russian Orthodox tradition, attending St. John’s Orthodox Church in Huron. She married Merton Johnson on Nov. 13, 1946 at Holy Trinity Orthodox Church in Clayton. Upon marriage, Dorothy and Merton purchased her parent’s farm and operated it until 1980. It was there she raised their nine children, instilling in them a strong work ethic and values to guide them in their lives. Dorothy was an equal partner on the farm, not afraid of hard work in order to provide for her family. Selling the farm in 1980, Dorothy and Merton moved to the Lake Wissota area, where each continued to work in new ventures. Dorothy pursued certified nursing assistn training and worked for many years at the Heyde Health System, retiring to care for her husband after he was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s. Dorothy loved to keep busy, especially outdoors. Her gardens and flowers were her delight and they gave her great pleasure. She was a feisty lady who, though small in stature, was always ready to stand up for what she believed, trusting her oldest son, Donald’s ultimate sacrifice in the Vietnam War, gave that freedom to all.

Dorothy will be deeply missed by her eight surviving children and 12 grandchildren, Wayne Johnson of Gilman, Rev. Jim (Claudia) Johnson of Milton and their children, Eric and Michael Johnson and Sarah (Travis) Baysinger, Richard (Monica) Johnson of Gilman and their children, Mikel (Chris) Olynick, Victoria (Kyle) Noonan and Adam Johnson, Dale Johnson of Menomonie and his children, Nathan and Kathryn Johnson, Phyllis (Wayne) Schmidt of Eau Claire, Debbie Weedman of Fort Wayne, Ind., Carol (Mark) Bowe of Chippewa Falls and their children, Kendra (Luke) Olson and Kayla (Justin) Bowe, and Christine (John) Wickland of Chippewa Falls and their children, Alexa and Aiden Wickland. She is further survived by eight great-grandchildren, Brayden, Allison and Averie Olynick, Cullen, Norah and Odin Noonan, Nolan Johnson and Ryker Baysinger; a sister-in-law, Jeanne Hodowanic of Gilman and Ellen Hodowanic of Chippewa Falls; and numerous nieces, nephews, cousins and friends.

Dorothy was preceded in death by her husband, Merton; son, Donald; daughter-in-law, Patti Johnson; and siblings, John, Mike, William, Andrew, Alex, Steve Hodowanic, Tillie Lauer and Mary Blau.

Memorials may be directed to St. John’s Russian Orthodox Church in Huron, St. John’s Lutheran Church in rural Gilman, Our Savior’s Lutheran Church in Chippewa Falls or to a favorite charity.

We thank Our House Memory Care and St Joseph’s Palliative Care for their excellent care for mom during her last years as well as St. Joseph’s Hospice during her final days.

Pederson-Volker Funeral Chapel and Cremation Services of Chippewa Falls is serving the family. Please share your memories and condolences online at

Paid Obituary 86159