October 16, 1924 - July 20, 2016


Beatrice Emma (Whittlef) Johnson passed away on July 20, 2016. Born on October 16, 1924 in Isanti County, Minnesota, sadly her mother became ill and died soon after her birth. She was raised by her aunt Augusta (nee Whittlef) and uncle Jens “James” Larson. She married her beloved husband Myron “Mike” Johnson in January 1943. Shortly thereafter, they relocated to San Diego where Mike was stationed in the Navy during World War II. When the war ended, they returned to Minnesota, later opening a popular café and service station in Zimmerman which they operated for many years. After retirement, they spent decades traveling, stopping at every roadside attraction and collecting volumes of antiques along the way. Beats was particularly known for her expansive assortment of chicken-related collectibles. As a lifelong member of Zion Lutheran Church in Crown, she assisted in many Ladies Aid events, sewed quilts to be donated to Africa, helped tirelessly at annual dinners, and just one week before her passing served a luncheon she prepared herself to the congregation. She was a devoted caretaker to her husband Mike until his death in 2015, not long after they celebrated 72 years of marriage. Throughout the years, she became a fixture on the local bridge and bingo scene, playing up to within days of her death. She couldn’t pass up a good card game or a John Grisham novel and was a devout Twins fan. Beats was the life of the party, had a wry sense of humor and strong opinions. She will be deeply missed by her wide circle of family and friends.

She was preceded in death by her husband Mike, parents, seven brothers, daughters-in-law Linda Johnson and Lee Johnson. She is survived by her sister Evelyn Lemke; sister-in-law Esther Whittlef; brothers-in-law Bernard, Edward (Carol), Harvey (Pauline) Johnson; sisters-in-law Bernice Johnson and Gerda (John) Scheele; Son Randy (Denise) Johnson; daughter Susan (Steven) McNeill; grandchildren Dana Koch, Darin Johnson, Emily McNeill and Erin McNeill; fourteen great-grandchildren, and one great-great grandson.

A funeral service will be held 11 AM, Monday, July 25, 2016 at Zion Lutheran Church of Crown, MN with visitation two hours prior to the service. Interment will be held in Zion Lutheran Cemetery of Crown. Arrangements have been entrusted to Williams Dingmann Family Funeral Home, Princeton.