In Memory of Meta Johnson

April 19, 1916 - May 21, 2018

April 19, 1916 - May 21, 2018

Meta K. Johnson, 102, of Spooner and formerly of Lake Elmo, Minnesota went home to be with Jesus, surrounded by her loving children, on Monday, May 21, 2018 at the Spooner Hospital.

Meta Katherine Johnson was born on April 19, 1916 at her home in Lake Elmo, Minnesota. She was the third of six children born to Charles and Emma Goetschel.  Meta attended school in Lake Elmo through the 6th grade.  She told about riding to school in a school bus which was a wagon pulled by horses.  She was bi-lingual in both German and English.   Meta grew up on the family farm raising chickens and selling eggs.  Her family also raised pigs and cows and she would help on the farm milking the cows by hand, gardening, and gathering in the hay, corn, oats and straw at the end of the year.  Through planting, canning and butchering, her farm was self sufficient in the food they grew and raised.  

Meta grew up in a musical family and was in an orchestra of 10 family members called the Blue Jackets. They played for Saturday evening dances and church socials.  She was also the organist at St. John’s Lutheran Church from her teen years right up until her marriage.  Meta was very active in 4-H and at the age of 16 won a bread baking contest at the Minnesota State Fair. She was a member of the Spooner Women’s Club for over 50 years.  You can see a three minute video of her being honored by going to You Tube and typing in: Spooner Woman’s Club Kicks off 100th Year, Johnson Honored for 50 years of membership.

On April 11, 1948 Meta was united in marriage to Leon D. Johnson of Spooner.  They met through a date that was set up by Leon’s cousin.  One year after they met they were married at St. John’s Lutheran Church in Stillwater, Minnesota.  They lived in St. Croix Falls for a year and then Leon and Meta moved to Spooner where Leon worked as a Research Biologist with the Wisconsin Conservation Department and was also the home town photographer.  At first Meta worked at the hotel by the train depot and also as a waitress at the bus stop.  Meta then began assisting Leon in taking wedding pictures, graduation pictures and cutting, framing and oil painting portraits as they were ordered.  She continued working as his photography assistant right up until Leon retired from photography in the late 1990s.   Meta was a member of Trinity Lutheran Church and during this time she taught Sunday School and Bible School.  For several years she was the organist at both Trinity Lutheran Church and the Spooner Assembly of God.  She would play the organ for the first service at Trinity Lutheran and then go to the Spooner Assembly of God and play the organ for their service.  The Assembly of God pastor’s wife wanted to learn how to play the piano, so Meta taught her and she began playing for their church services.   The Assembly of God pastor and his wife are now working in Israel.

Meta loved the Lord Jesus with all her heart.  She loved people and she loved to cook food and serve it to others.  Entertaining others was a constant her entire life. She was always happy and was one of the most positive people her family and friends knew.  She raised two children and was a type of second mother for many others.  She was always there when she was needed.  Meta loved attending church services and reading the Bible.  She read the Bible through several times.

Meta traveled the US with her family on family vacations. Twice she also traveled to Sweden where Leon grew up, to Germany where she had relatives, to Israel where her son had gone to school and to Canada and Mexico.

In 2004 Meta’s husband died.  She was 88 years old at the time. Her son, Dr. Emory Johnson, then retired from his position as a Chaplain in Texas and moved back home to keep an eye on her.   They lived together for 13½ years.  She was healthy and independent for the first 11½ of those years until she had an episode that required her use of a wheelchair.  Even in a wheelchair Meta was active, attending church with her son every Sunday, attending family gatherings and getting out of the house every day.  She lived at home, with her son, right up until her death.

Meta is survived by her son, Rev. Dr. Emory Johnson of Spooner and her daughter, Naila  (Dan) Sanderson of New Richmond; three grandchildren, Talitha Sanderson of New Brighton,MN, Marika (Joseph) Brown of Waconia, MN, and Joel (Bryanna) Sanderson of Woodbury, MN;  nine great grandchildren, Chloe, Hannah, Owen, Lucas and Abigail Brown of Waconia and Caleb, Eli, Andrew and Isaac Sanderson of Woodbury; a brother-in-law, Warren Doll of Osceola, WI, a sister-in-law, Gladys Goetschel of St. Paul; and several nieces, nephews, and cousins.  

She was preceded in death by her parents, Charles and Emma Goetschel; her husband, Leon Johnson; her brothers, Walter, Martin and Edward Goetschel, and her sisters, Esther Doll and Leona Neumann; and two great grandchildren, Nathan and Elizabeth Brown who were born right into Heaven.

A funeral service will be held at New Hope Lutheran Church in Grantsburg, WI, where Meta was a member and her son is the pastor, on Wednesday, May 30, at 11:00 a.m.  Music will be provided by her son-in-law, Dan Sanderson, her grandson, Joel Sanderson and by family friends Dale Jacobson and Beverly Murk. Visitation will be held at the Bratley-Nelson Funeral Home in Spooner on Tuesday, May 29, from 4 to 6 p.m. and again at New Hope Lutheran Church in Grantsburg at 10:00 a.m. on Wednesday, May 30.

Burial will take place at the Northern Wisconsin Veterans Memorial Cemetery in Spooner at 11:00 a.m. on Thursday, May 31.

Bratley-Nelson Funeral Home of Spooner is providing the funeral arrangements.

Honorary Pall Bearers are: Warren Doll, Raymond Hanson, Ray Hanson, and Jim Hills

Casket Bearers are:  Joseph Brown, Jamie Canfield, Arden Doll, Jim Johnson, Bjorn Neumann, Brett Neumann, Roger Neumann, and Joel Sanderson.

Last Update: Dec 16, 2018 5:45 pm CST

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