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Friday, April 8, 2022
5:00 - 7:00pm (Central time)
Saturday, April 9, 2022
1:00 - 2:00pm (Central time)
Saturday, April 9, 2022
Starts at 2:00pm (Central time)
Connie Johnson, age 83, of Herman, Minnesota passed away Friday, April 1, 2022 at the Courage Cottage in Morris, Minnesota.
Funeral Services will be held Saturday, April 9, 2022 at 2:00 p.m. at Bethel Lutheran Church in Herman with Rev. Chris Richards officiating.
Visitation will be held Friday, April 8th from 5:00 p.m. until 7:00 p.m. at Bethel Lutheran Church, and continue Saturday afternoon one hour prior to service time at church.
Burial will be in Lakeside Cemetery, rural Herman. Honorary Urn bearers will be Connie’s grandchildren: Brian Oachs, Matthew Sheets, Andrew Sheets, Jared Oachs and Analea Sheets.
Connie Raye took her place in the Sjoquist family line up on January 28, 1939. Her parents, Oscar and Hazel (Peterson) welcomed their 3rd child as the US was recovering from the Great Depression and was on the brink of WWII. Connie was far from a high maintenance child or, for that matter, a high maintenance woman. From early childhood, she could be found outside getting dirty, playing with the Vipond kids next door, or caring for her dog. She LOVED being outside. She LOVED animals (particularly dogs). Her mother would get Connie all spiffed up for an occasion and within minutes, the spiffing was undone because Connie had wrestled with her dog (or found some other messy undertaking). Connie grew to her teens and young adulthood living in the white house on the south edge of Herman with her 4 sisters and 1 brother and a huge posse of friends and family. She liked to have fun and sought out hard work. After graduating from Herman High School in 1957, Connie moved to Minneapolis and began work at Hardware Mutual Insurance, living with a friend in the Uptown area. Connie regularly traveled home to Herman on the weekends. During this time, she started noticing Dean Sheets who had drifted into her orbit. It wasn’t long before they determined that they needed to make a trip to Arizona to hunt javelina in the Superstition Mts, but on the way, they made a detour to Marshall, MN to get married on her birthday in 1959. They settled on a farm in Logan Township where they brought home their three babies: Kim, Jodi and Jay. Connie embraced the farm life in all it’s messy glory. In 1964 they left the farm and moved to St. Louis Park. Connie then embraced city life in all it’s messy whir, because she was flexible like that. She worked at Lund’s Bakery and at a nearby Cantonese restaurant called the Foo Chu to supplement Dean’s income. When not working, she was wrangling her kids, running them to the typical kids functions but also finding all sorts of ways to make city living enjoyable. In 1966 Connie flexed yet again, the family began going south to follow the wheat harvest from Oklahoma to the Canadian border. This provided welcome relief from the city but it was far from a leisurely vacation. Again, she lifted the burden of extra work, feeding a threshing crew three squares a day, running meals to fields 20 miles in the middle of nowhere, doing laundry for everyone and keeping the aged Nashua trailer in some sort of order and making sure her kids didn’t become feral animals over the summer. In 1973 the family returned to Herman, buying a farm on a small lake just outside of town. The idyllic setting was exactly where Connie needed to be. She turned a neglected farm place into a park-like yard. Connie worked at the grocery store in Herman from 1974 until her retirement in 1996. She loved working with the public. Dean died in 1994 but Connie would not be a widow for long. In 1996 she married Dale Johnson and spent a happy 23 years with him, wintering in Apache Jct, AZ and also traveling with friends and family. Dale died in 2019. Connie doctored with systemic scleroderma for many years. The progression of the disease caused her to be hospitalized in November 2021 and it was determined that she would not be with us much longer. We are blessed to have had the 4 months to say a long good-bye. Connie died peacefully on April 1, 2022 at the Courage Cottage in Morris, MN. She was 83 years old.
Connie is survived by her children: Kim (Doug) Oachs, Jodi (Doyle) Sperr, Jay (Sandy) Sheets; 5 grandchildren: Brian (Kate) Oachs, Matthew Sheets, Jared (Lizzy) Oachs, Andrew Sheets, Analea Sheets; 1.5 Great Grandchildren: Parker and baby Jared/Lizzy (due Sept 2022); a bevy of 8 “bonus” grandchildren and their spouses via Doyle and Jodi; one brother Rick (Gail) Sjoquist of Burnsville, MN; and one sister Cheryl (Jerry) Haukos of Alexandria, MN; four stepdaughters: Marcy (Dennis) Wilts, Nettie (Rick) Baker, Nancy (Sam) Haukos, Pam (Mark) Severance; 10 step grandchildren; 22 step-great grandchildren; brother-in-law Dwayne Sheets of Morgan Hill, CA; sister-in-law Shirley Thomas of Sartell, MN; and many nieces and nephews.
She was preceded in death by her first husband Dean, her second husband Dale, her sister Pat, her sisters June and Karen and their spouses and brothers-in-law Dewey Berg and Stephen Thomas, and sister-in-law Joanne Sheets.