Mary Agnes Johnson, 81, of Moline, died Saturday, December 11, 2021.
Mary was born on July 3, 1940, in Detroit, Michigan, to Dorothy and Bruce Stewart.
Mary believed you could do anything if you set your mind to it and often proved it by doing extraordinary things herself. Before marrying Roger Johnson in 1967, she learned to fly in 1965, a time when there were very few female pilots. While raising her six children, she put herself through nursing school, graduating from the Trinity School of Nursing in 1993 at the age of 52 and worked at many hospitals until she retired in 2007.
At home, she embraced do-it-yourself projects, which became legendary stories now fondly retold by her children. What do you need to prevent groundhogs from eating your tomato plants? Answer: a folding chair, a cup of coffee, and a revolver. What do you need to fix a broken slide in a drawer? A mallet and a can of V8.
Mary also had an inspiring sense of wonder that she was happy to share with others. She loved the power and beauty of nature, spending hours of quiet reflection in her backyard "Purple Rain Garden", being so still and peaceful that a bird could (and did once) perch on her. She adored the majesty of windmills, always teasing her children that she would like to have a picnic at a wind farm. She fell in love with the astonishing night sky, especially when she could locate the planets, and had plans to watch the launch of the James Webb Space Telescope in French Guiana.
Her greatest pride was her six kids. Mary was so smart, funny, and caring. She brought wisdom to them during the hardest of times, and sacrificed so much to provide them with a lifetime of opportunities.
Mary's first son, Erik Johnson, died in September, 2021, after a long fight with cancer. Mary is survived by her brother, Robert (Marie) Stewart of Scottsdale, Arizona, her children: Kristine Johnson of Edina, Minnesota, Kurt (Melissa Hebert) Johnson of Columbus, Georgia, Matt (Julia O’Donnell) Johnson of Austin, Texas, Debbie (Josh) Jackson of LeClaire, Iowa, and Patty Johnson of Long Beach, California; her wonderful grandchildren: Georgia, Graham, and Duncan Jackson of LeClaire, Iowa, and Nora and Malcolm Johnson of Austin, Texas; and her good friend and neighbor Ken Rexroth. Mary’s life will be celebrated for years to come. There will be no funeral service, since she was not a fan. However, if you knew Mary or just want to honor her memory, one thing she did say she wished would happen when she died was that her well wishers play “Spirit in the Sky” by Norman Greenbaum. Oh, but when the “never been a sinner, never sinned” lyric comes up, though, she said you can just hum through that part. :)
Donations in Mary’s name to the Quad City Animal Welfare Center are also welcome.
We will always love you, Mary (Mom).
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