January 7, 1930 – September 20, 2012
MARION EDITH (VAN SLYKE) JOHNSON was born on January 7, 1930 in Red Deer, Alberta to Ross and Adelaide Van Slyke. She was the youngest of 3, having two older brothers Allan and Donald. She lived on the farm until about the age of 14. She attended the one room Balmoral school to grade 9 and then went to the city school in Red Deer where she graduated grade 12. After graduation she went to Edmonton and took a secretarial course at the Alberta College. After college she landed a job in Red Deer and also attended the Naramata Christian Leadership Training School. She met and fell in love with the boy next door (literally), Albert Johnson. They married July 18, 1953 and made their home in Bowness and then Calgary. They were blessed with 5 children, Ross, Ralph, Donald, Vicki (Walstrom) and David.
When she found out two of her boys were deaf she became involved with what became the Society for Hearing Handicapped Children. Over a period of 35 years, she and Albert helped build the Southern Alberta Deaf Centre and Deaf and Hard of Hearing Services in Calgary, acting as treasurer, keeping the books and running the office. She taught sign language and lip reading courses and relayed phone messages for the deaf. She was passionate about meeting the needs of deaf people. She realized early on her deaf children would become deaf adults who would need a core set of resources to help them navigate through their adulthood. In 1983 she received the Government of Alberta Achievement Award for her work there.
From 1980 – 1983 Marion spent 5 weeks a year in Brandon, Manitoba interpreting for Ralph while he took his Heavy Duty Apprenticeship Program. There were a shortage of interpreters in Manitoba and she wasn’t going to let his dream die because of that. Ralph received his diploma and has had a successful career as a Heavy Duty Mechanic ever since. Marion used to always joke that Ralph was the youngest college graduate having graduated from the old Mount Royal College (preschool program) at age 5. He was destined to become a scholar.
She was also active with the United Church Women and earned the Calgary Presbyterial 50 year award in February of this year.
She and Albert enjoyed many trips over the course of their lives and spent twelve winters as snowbirds in Mesa, Arizona.
Marion was predeceased by her husband Albert and her great-granddaughter Kiana. Albert and Kiana both passed away August 8th; Albert in 2007 and Kiana in 2000.
She is survived by son Ross and his family (Aiko, Coralie, Bev), Terry (Dom), Mark (Eva), Nathan (Catherine), Elias, Brigitte, Sari, son Ralph and his family (Terri, Donna), Jamie (Alex), Becky (Reynold), Lilah, Eden, Noah, Chase, son Donald and his family (Joyce), Ryan (Erin, Donna), Rachel, daughter Vicki and her family (Ross, Paul), Cody (Lindsay), Cammi, Deanna (Jay), Desirae (Cole, Steve), Clinton, Clayton (Leah), Darian, Viktor, Hale, Bleyk, Holden, Mason, Slade, Bruin, Jordan, Deja, son David and his family (Leonor), Marissa, Clarissa.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to one of Marion’s favourite charities, the Red Cross Society.
FOOTHILLS UNITED CHURCH
3803 69 Street NW, Calgary, Alberta
Tuesday, October 2, 2012 2:00 P.M.
Lakeview Cemetery, Stettler, Alberta
Wednesday, October 3, 2012 11:00 A.M.
In living memory of Marion Johnson,
McINNIS & HOLLOWAY has provided a tree to be
Dedicated at Fish Creek Provincial Park
September 14 & 15, 2013