JoAnn Johnson

Obituary of JoAnn Marie Johnson

November 18, 1927 - Osage, Iowa

March 11, 2024 - Calgary, Alberta


JoAnn Johnson of Calgary, AB, passed away on Monday, March 11, 2024, at the age of 96 years.


JoAnn was born in Osage, Iowa, on November 18, 1927, to Pastor Thomas P. and Edna Solem. She was the second of four children. In 1946, JoAnn left Osage, together with her best friend Gloria, to attend a five-year nursing program jointly run by St. Olaf College in Northfield, MN, and Fairview Hospital in Minneapolis, MN. She graduated in 1951 and then went to work at Mitchell County Memorial Hospital in Osage for two years. From there, she moved to Washington, D.C., where she was employed at George Washington University Hospital as an O.R. nurse for three years.


In the meantime, JoAnn’s parents moved to Saskatoon, SK, where T.P. taught at Luther Seminary. When they hosted a young seminary student named Glen in their home, Edna suggested that he should really meet their daughter, JoAnn. Sure enough, JoAnn moved to Saskatoon and worked at the University of Saskatchewan Hospital for three years. The two met, and they married in 1958. Their eldest son Nathan was born at the University of Saskatchewan Hospital in 1959.


When Glen and JoAnn moved to St. Louis so Glen could go to grad school, JoAnn worked at St. Mary’s Hospital and they had three more children – Matthew and Carla in 1960, and Laura in 1962. At Laura’s birth, they had four children under the age of three, and they both continued to work, as well as Glen going to school. Busy times!


In 1962, the family moved to Torquay, SK, when Glen’s father died, and then they accepted a pastoral call to Starbuck, MB. Stephen was born in Winnipeg in 1967.


It was in early 1968 that Glen accepted his next call to become President of Camrose Lutheran College, which became Augustana University College under his leadership. JoAnn and Glen raised their family in Camrose, where Glen maintained his role as president for 28 years.


A gifted musician, JoAnn returned to college in Camrose and completed a B.A. in music. She remained involved with music her whole life, taking a turn directing the children’s choir at Messiah Lutheran Church, singing in the Camrose Lutheran College choir for a number of years, and playing the organ at Ascension Lutheran Church, where Dad became the full-time pastor in his “retirement” from 1997 to 2014. JoAnn was a lover of the music of J.S. Bach. She had very high musical standards, for which her children teased her frequently.


Once her five children were all in school, JoAnn returned to her career. She took a nursing refresher course and then worked as a nurse at St. Mary’s Hospital, at Bethany, and at the Community Clinic during her time in Camrose. She retired in her late 50s, but never retired from supporting her husband in his ministries over the years.


It is fitting for a story of JoAnn’s life to follow both her family and her ministry storyline. JoAnn fiercely loved her family – her parents, her siblings and their families, her husband, her children, her grandchildren, and her great-grandchildren. Her life revolved around them. She also fiercely loved both her Lord and the Church to which she belonged. Her life was devoted to the service of others. Service on her own terms. JoAnn was a unique individual with a quick wit and a sense of humour that never failed to amuse those around her. She was unconventional, curious, tenacious, and compassionate. Some called her a character; some called her sassy. On top of that, she was a really good cook! She fed her family delicious meals, cooking for extended family and guests over the years, always trying new recipes, and she made beef stew and fresh buns for the “Inn from the Cold” program at her church. She championed the underdog and her loyalty in friendship was unfailing.


JoAnn was predeceased by her older brother Charles, her younger sister Solveig, and her brothers and sisters-in-law, Carol Boden, Don Johnson, Roger Nostbakken, and Lorraine Johnson. She is survived by her youngest sister Andrea Nostbakken.


JoAnn was dearly loved and will be missed by her husband K. Glen, her children, Nathan (Laurel), Matthew (Karen), Carla, Laura (Daniel Maoz), and Stephen (Sharon); her grandchildren, Amy (Keddy Munroe), Alex, Sara Hough (Josh Hough), and Emily (Nathan Lal); and her great-grandchildren, Tenley and Imre.


Funeral Services will be held at Ascension Lutheran Church (1432 – 19th Street N.E., Calgary, AB) on Saturday, March 23, 2024, at 1:00 p.m. Reception to follow in the Church Hall.


Family and friends who are unable to attend in person are invited to join Mrs. Johnson’s service streamed live (see link below) on the day of the service.


Condolences, memories, and photos may be shared and viewed with JoAnn’s family here.


In living memory of JoAnn Johnson, a tree will be planted in the Ann & Sandy Cross Conservation Area by McInnis & Holloway Funeral Homes, Chapel of the Bells, 2720 Centre Street North, Calgary, AB T2E 2V6, Telephone: 403-276-2296.


Click to Watch JoAnn's Funeral Service


Funeral Services

1:00 pm
Saturday, March 23, 2024
Ascension Lutheran Church
1432 – 19th Street N.E.
Calgary, Alberta, Canada
(403) 275-2240


Reception to follow at the Church.
Share Your Memory of