Marian Carol Johnson
Mar 20, 1939 - May 12, 2019
Marian Carol Johnson was born in Cleveland, Ohio, on March 20, 1939, to Lester and Elsie Law. She and her family moved to Connersville, Indiana, in 1942 for a new job her father took in support of WWII supply manufacturing and lived there for four years. In 1946, they moved back to Cleveland just prior to the birth of her sister, Lesley, and lived there for five years. In 1951, she and her family settled in North Royalton, Ohio, living there for the remainder of her childhood in the house built by her father. At the age of eight, Marian took up playing the violin which was the start of her lifelong love of music. During Marian’s teenage years she worked for Higbee’s Department Store in Cleveland as a model and was on the store’s Teen Fashion Board. Marian was a majorette in high school and valedictorian of her class. She received a scholarship to Denison University where she studied from 1956 – 1958 until her wedding. Marian married Thomas Carl Johnson on August 20, 1958. Their honeymoon was their move to San Diego, CA! Marian completed her BA in psychology at San Diego State University. She subsequently received her teaching credential and taught high school English and science for a number of years in the San Diego area. Marian and Tom moved to Sacramento in 1963 in conjunction with starting a new business, General Copy Systems. Marian began transitioning from teaching to helping run the new family business with Tom. In 1964, she and Tom purchased property in Tahoe Pines – two cabins which provided rental income and a vacation destination for many years to come. Marian gave birth to son Scott in June of 1965 and three years later, to daughter Laurel in July of 1968. As her family grew, there were many trips to Tahoe Pines where winter skiing at local resorts and summer hiking, swimming and biking became highly anticipated pastimes for the entire family. Marian was often a willing (to at least some degree) participant in Tom’s crazy antics such as photographing Scott as a baby in the fireplace and helping Tom prepare what was supposed to be a business Christmas party ham “won” by his secretary only to be terrified when she lifted the lid to find Tom’s head with an apple in his mouth looking up at her. Tom died in August 1974 from complications after a two year battle with pseudo cancer. Marian took on more and more responsibility for the family business during the time before his passing and continued to run the business for a year after Tom’s death. This ended in the sale of the business that allowed her the luxury of being a stay at home Mom for Scott and Laurel. Marian became a member of Trinity Church in Sacramento shortly after Tom’s passing. Both Tom and Marian were raised in church, but they each found their personal faith in Christ during his illness. The church played an important part in much of the remainder of her life. She was very active in the church choir, served on the church school board and occasionally taught as a substitute teacher at the church’s school where Scott and Laurel attended until mid-high school. Marian entered Trinity School of the Bible and after several years of classes, received music and theology credentials in 1980. Her strong faith in the Lord continued to grow throughout the remainder of her life. Beyond trips to Tahoe, Marian enjoyed international travel where she went on three trips to the Holy Land and surrounding European destinations. The first Holy Land trip she made in 1976 with her church group, followed next year by a trip with Scott and then with both Scott and Laurel two years later. Destinations included historic biblical sites in Israel, Jordan, Egypt, Turkey, Greece and Italy. These trips cemented a life-long travel bug for the whole family in the years to come. Marian began teaching again in 1983, first as a junior high special education teacher’s aide for a few years, then for over a decade as an adult English as a Second Language (ESL) teacher to new immigrants to the United States.
This gave her renewed purpose and was personally very rewarding for her in helping her students learn both English and integrate into the US culture. She later led a recovery group at church for people struggling with addiction and their families. After retiring from teaching in 1999, she became a board member for Liberty Savard Ministries, providing counseling and prayer support. Marian was unfortunately diagnosed with Parkinson’s in 2000. This progressive disease slowly dominated her later life, but did not diminish her joy in her new role as a grandmother. She relished time with her grandchildren whether it be playing in the sand during trips to the beach, reading countless books aloud or attending numerous ballet, athletic and musical events. She continued to live in Sacramento until 2011 until living on her own became too difficult. So she moved to Sunny View Assisted Living Community in Cupertino, near Laurel in Mountain View. She lived there for four years during which time she received Deep Brain Stimulation (DBS) surgery to implant electrodes in her brain in order to combat the tremors of Parkinson’s. As her physical condition worsened, Marian moved to her final residence at Crescent Villa in Sunnyvale where she was well cared for by the staff and frequently visited by Laurel, Scott and extended family. Marian peacefully passed away on Mother’s Day, May 12, 2019, 7:30 pm at the age of 80 with Scott and Laurel by her side. Marian is survived by son Scott (Emily) and grandchildren Shane, Ella and Spencer; daughter Laurel (Kevin) and grandchildren Sarafina and Carlson; stepson Brandon Baroman; sister Lesley Kylm (Norman); sister-in-law Janet Quartly (Christopher). She was preceded in death by husband, Tom, and sister-in-law Cheryl Hunter. She was affectionately known as Grandma Sweetie to her five grandchildren and extended family. Marian will be buried next to her husband Tom on Wednesday May 22, 2019, at 11:00 am at the East Lawn Mortuary & Sierra Hills Memorial Park at 5757 Greenback Lane, Sacramento, CA. Her life will be celebrated in a later memorial service on Saturday June 29, 2019, at 10:30 am at Menlo Church—Mountain View located at 1667 Miramonte Ave, Mountain View, CA. Marian is dearly loved by her entire family and will be greatly missed. Those who remain behind take comfort in knowing that she is now no longer suffering from Parkinson’s and is with her savior Jesus Christ along with her husband Tom and other family members who have moved on to the afterlife. Memorial donations can be made in memory of Marian to the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research or to the Parkinson’s Foundation.