Marian Amanda (Dietrich) Johnson, 94, earned her wings and independence and went home to our Lord on July 4, 2022. She was a two time breast cancer survivor. Cremation has taken place.
Marian was born on February 28, 1928, in a house on Clark's Creek Road in rural Geary County, Kansas; the second daughter of Hugo William Ludwig Dietrich and Caroline Clara (Settgast) Dietrich. She grew up in surrounding communities of Junction City and Dwight and attended the rural schools. She talked about riding horses with her older sister, Alberta, herding cows, and doing chores. Marian was baptized and confirmed in the Lutheran faith. She was a lifelong member of St. Paul's Lutheran Church on Clark's Creek and then Immanuel Lutheran Church in Junction City.
In 1946, while working in the sandwich shop (AAFES) on Fort Riley, Kansas, she met a young soldier who became the love of her life, Russell James Johnson. He said she made the best sandwich he had ever had. They married on February 9, 1947. Over the next few years they were stationed in New Mexico, Texas, and Germany before they decided to join civilian life and return to Junction City, Kansas.
Marian continued to work with AAFES in various capacities and retired after 35 years as a Head Cashier in the Cashiers Office. She also did the bookkeeping for the various businesses she and Russell had...including the landscaping business, and rental properties. She was never one to be idle for long: a card game (quick to learn and beat you); 1,000 piece puzzles, canning tomatoes, salsa, pickles, and jellies; or helping others. She didn't just tell you how to do it, she was there to guide and show you if you needed help.
Some puzzles she glued, framed and gave to others. One in particular was of crosses across America. She decided to take pictures of her two home churches and the Lutheran school with their crosses and add them to the top of the framed puzzle. She donated it to Immanuel Lutheran Church.
Watching the birds from her living room window was entertaining. Beautiful red Cardinals, Blue Jays, finches, woodpeckers, and don't forget the crows. Hummingbirds were a favorite past time watching them fly to the feeders and then zoom away so quickly.
Most of all, she enjoyed getting out on her zero-turn Grasshopper to mow her acreage. It was a time to get outdoors and she loved it. It was a time to just feel free and not have to think. She was still mowing just two weeks prior to her passing.
Marian and Russell enjoyed many adventures, and traveled across the country, including Alaska, Hawaii, Canada, and Mexico. Sometimes for pleasure: square dancing, visiting family and friends and sometimes working: hauling boats, campers, RVs, picking up or delivering cars...it didn't matter, they were enjoying each other. They enjoyed 70 1/2 years together before Russell passed in July 2017. She missed him every day and longed for their reunion.
For over thirty years, they had a fireworks stand. It grew from a small operation, to a converted school bus, to a large tent. In the early years of selling fireworks, they would make homemade ice cream for the family and close friends who came to watch fireworks shot off at the Sundown Salute at Milford Lake Dam. How fitting that she passed on the Fourth of July so she could watch from heaven with the love of her life.
They raised three children together. Son, Curtis W. (Linda) Johnson, Junction City, Kansas; daughter, Cathy J. (Jay) Nuzum, Junction City, Kansas and son, Larry R. (Becki) Johnson, Manhattan, Kansas. Other survivors include six grandchildren: Ron (Amy)Johnson, Bryan (Tara) Johnson, Michael (Kendra) McGlothin, Jason (Katie) McGlothin, Laurence (Dawn) Johnson, and Lauren (Calvin) Froggette; great-grandchildren: Olivia, Ian, Ella, Dustin, Abby, Hayden, Eli, Madison, Tony, Alexandrya, and "little" Russell; great-great grandson: Phoenix; brother-in-law, Don Wolf, several nieces and nephews; step grandchildren: Brent Nelson and children: Finnegan, Lilly and Liam; Nicole (Clifford) Wang and children Ellery and Ansley; many other distant relatives.
She was preceded in death by her parents and three sisters: Alberta Sarge, Delane Wolf, Marlene Kelley; brothers-in law: Charles Sarge and Robert Kelley.
The family will greet friends at the Immanuel Lutheran Church 5-7:00 p.m. Wednesday, July 13. A committal service will be held at 10:00 a.m. Thursday, July 14 at the Kansas Veterans Cemetery. Those who are attending the committal service are asked to meet at Immanuel Lutheran Church at 9:30 a.m. to caravan to the cemetery. Following committal, a Celebration of Life Service will be held at 11:00 a.m. at the church with Pastor Timothy McCall officiating. A luncheon will follow at the church.
The service will be streamed live on the Immanuel Lutheran Church Facebook page. Memorials may be made to Immanuel Lutheran Church, 630 S. Eisenhower, Junction City, Kansas.
Marian was the rock of her family and will be greatly missed. She was a very stoic woman with a heart of gold.
Those we love don't go away, they walk beside us every day; unseen, unheard, but always near; still loved...still missed, but always near as our guardian angels.
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