AKKERMAN-INGEBRAND FUNERAL HOME – MORA
Lillian Johnson, of Mora, formerly of Red Lake Falls and Edina, MN; passed away on Monday, September 21, 2015 at Eastwood Senior Living in Mora. She was 98 years old.
MEMORIAL SERVICE will be held at 11:00 am on Friday, September 25, 2015 at the Akkerman Ingebrand Chapel in Mora.
MEMORIAL VISITATION will be held 1/2 hour prior to the service
INURNMENT will be at a later date in the Oak Grove Cemetery in Red Lake Falls, MN.
Lillian Lindbergh Christie Johnson, a Mora resident since 1969, died September 21 at Eastwood Senior Living. Born in 1917 to Eva Lindbergh Christie and George West Christie, Lillian grew up in Red Lake Falls, Minnesota, where she graduated from Lafayette High School. Her father owned and edited the Red Lake Falls Gazette. Lillian followed in his footsteps, studying journalism at the University of Minnesota, where she was the first woman on the copy desk of the Minnesota Daily. After taking her degree at the university, Lillian worked for three years for the National Collegiate Press Association.
In 1941, Lillian married a high school and journalism classmate, Edmund E. Johnson. When Ed was in the Army Air Corps during World War II, they spent time in Texas and California. After the war they settled in Fargo, North Dakota, where Ed was copy editor on the Fargo Forum. Lillian concentrated on raising their two older daughters, Christie and Julie. Their third daughter Leslie was born soon after they relocated to the Twin Cities. The family lived in Edina from 1955-1969, where Lillian worked for the Sun Newspaper Company as a copy editor.
In 1969, Lillian and Edmund purchased the Kanabec County Times with Lillian’s brother George Christie and his wife Peggy Schoon Christie. The two couples edited and published the newspaper for eleven years until they retired in 1980.
During the 1980’s, Ed and Lillian were able to travel in the United States, Europe, Australia and New Zealand. They also found it rewarding to act as group leaders for the St. Mary’s chemical dependency program in Minneapolis. In addition, Lillian found time to edit and write the Kanabec History Center Quarterly. Edmund and Lillian celebrated their fiftieth anniversary in June of 1991.
Following Edmund’s death later that year, Lillian remained in her own home on Riverside Street. She continued to participate in the AAUW, the Page Turners Book Club, and a weekly Scrabble group.
A life-long Minnesotan, Lillian was always proud of her family history. Interestingly, both of her parents’ childhood homes became public museums. Her maternal grandfather was Congressman Charles A. Lindbergh, father of the flyer. His home is now Charles A. Lindbergh State Park in Little Falls, Minnesota. Lillian’s paternal grandfather was George West Christie, MD, whose family home in Long Prairie is now the Christie House Museum, which showcases the practice of a country doctor.
Lillian and Ed’s three daughters survive her. Christie Johnson Coffin (husband Stephen Coffin) is an architect in Berkeley, California. Julie West Johnson (husband Lance Rips) is an English teacher and free-lance writer in Evanston, Illinois. Leslie Lindbergh Jones (husband Gerard Jones) is a retired oncology research coordinator who lives in Stillwater, Minnesota.
Lillian also leaves behind three adored grandchildren. Christopher “Kip” Jones (wife Noelle) is a professional musician with Ethel, a contemporary string quartet. Alexandra Munson (husband Russel) is an executive assistant at RSP Architects. Eve Rips (boyfriend John Marshall) is a public interest attorney and director of the Chicago office of Young Invincibles.
Her brother, George Christie of Mora, and numerous nieces and nephews also survive Lillian.
Lillian’s family would like to thank the staff of Eastwood Senior Living for the excellent and compassionate care they gave Lillian in her final months. She made friends among the staff and fellow residents. Happily, she retained her interest in current events and in the people around her. She kept her sense of humor to the very end. She was proud of her long life and died peacefully.
Lillian asked that memorials go to the Kanabec History Center or the Mora Public Library.