Jane Johnson, 73, once of Preston
Wednesday, December 26, 2012 7:55 AM
Jane Ann (Hovelson) Johnson, 73, died of cancer Dec. 3, 2012, at the Touch of Home assisted living facility in Bemidji.
She was born on June 6, 1939, to Gene and Carmen Hovelson in Lanesboro. She grew up in Preston and graduated from high school there in 1957. Upon graduation she enrolled at the Hamlin University School of Nursing in St. Paul and became a registered nurse in 1960.
She married Jay Johnson on Sept. 3, 1960, at the Methodist Church in Preston. They moved to Menomonie while her husband finished his degree and she began nursing at the Menomonie Clinic.
The family moved to Columbia Heights in 1962 where Mr. Johnson worked in industry and Mrs. Johnson worked nights at the University of Minnesota Hospital.
In 1963 they returned to Menomonie where Mr. Johnson continued his education and Mrs. Johnson worked at the Red Cedar Clinic. In the spring of that year, they moved to Missoula, Mont., where Mrs. Johnson continued her nursing career. The family lived there until the fall of 1966 when they moved to Dresbach, Minn., and Mrs. Johnson worked at St. Patrick's Hospital in La Crosse, Wis. In the fall of 1967, they moved to Bemidji for Mr. Johnson to teach at Bemidji State College.
In Bemidji, Mrs. Johnson continued nursing at a wide variety of places. She worked at Bemidji Hospital, did preschool screening for northern area schools and did speech therapy for District 31. For two summers she worked as camp nurse at Camp Thunderbird for Girls on Lake Plantagenet. In 1975, she became one of the first nurse practitioners certified in women's health in Minnesota. With the exception of two years working in ob/gyn at Bemidji North Country Hospital, she worked most of her career for Planned Parenthood in Bemidji.
She and her husband retired in 1998. However, she remained very busy; she became an active member of the Hospital Auxiliary as a volunteer in the gift shop. She and her husband spent two weeks in Honduras on a medical mission in women's health care. In their retirement, they used their RV to spend time during the winters in Florida and Texas. Mrs. Johnson liked to travel, tour museums, presidential libraries and national parks. She and her husband also spent time in Europe with friends, including the Bemidji State University Choir Tour in 1998, when she was the tour nurse. She loved music and was an accomplished pianist, often accompanying performers and occasionally performing on her own and playing in a small band. She gave piano lessons, played for church choirs and played in the bell choir at First Lutheran Church.
Mrs. Johnson was an avid reader of both music and books since her childhood. A woman of many interests, she enjoyed fly-fishing, basket-weaving, sewing and cooking and eating. Cross-country skiing and bird watching were also favorite outdoor activities.
She is survived by her husband, Jay; sons, Chris and Pete of Bemidji; a sister, Judy of Salem, Ore.; brother-in-law, Jay (Linda) of Byron; two nieces and nephews.
A celebration of life service will be held at New Salem Lutheran Church in Turtle River at 11 a.m. on Thursday, Dec. 27, with the Rev. Karol McCracken officiating. Visitation will take place one hour prior to the service. Memorials may be made to New Salem Lutheran Church.
Messages of condolence may be left at ceasefuneralhome.com.