Joelene Kay Johnson passed away on November 8, 2019 in Canon City, Colorado. Jo was born January 10, 1940 in Oberlin, Kansas to Joseph and Sylvia (Gilliland) Martin. She was the oldest of two children. Her father was a farmer and her mother ran a beauty salon and antique store.
After graduating high school, Jo took a job with Frontier Airlines which took her to Denver, Colorado, and eventually to a different job in the downtown Majestic office building. This is where she met the man she would marry, Bruce Johnson. They didn’t work together, but she saw him as they rode the elevator to their respective offices. She initiated their 50-year relationship by passing secret admirer notes to him, using the elevator attendant as her messenger. They finally met and went on a picnic together with Jo preparing the perfect fried chicken lunch, and according to Bruce, it was her potato salad that won his heart. They were married in September 1964 and moved to Canon City. It was there that they put down roots and raised their family. The mother of two sons, Erik and Scott, she immersed herself in the pride of being a homemaker and stay at home Mom. She loved to cook delicious meals for her family. She admitted to watching the ‘Galloping Gourmet’ in the morning, running to the grocery store for ingredients, and cooking that same meal for dinner. Her love for cooking and entertaining got her featured in a local newspaper expose’. She enjoyed gardening and raising chickens, selling dozens of eggs to neighbors, which was a welcome excuse to share a coffee and catch up on her gossip. She and Bruce loved to entertain, and back in the day, their Christmas parties were all the rave.
They enjoyed an active social life, were avid golfers and longtime members of Shadow Hills Golf Club. Jo was a very accomplished golfer, winning the Ladies Club Championship numerous times, and played in several Colorado Woman’s Golf Association events around the state. She served on the Shadow Hills Golf Club Board of Directors twice and the Colorado Woman’s Golf Association Board of Directors. Golf, family, friendships, and conferences were excuses for Jo and Bruce to travel, making trips all over the country. When she wasn’t playing golf, she was busy as a McKinley home-room mother, helping at Rita’s Boutique, perfecting crossword puzzles, watching her ‘stories’, and running to her sons’ events, but always made sure the family ate dinner together.
She lived the end of her life on her terms. Through several diagnoses of serious illness, she always kept a tenacious spirit to not let it get her down. She was known to be ornery, she made friends easily, and had a soft heart always appreciative to all who helped her as her health declined. She was preceded in death by her husband Bruce, and parents Joseph and Sylvia Martin.
She is survived by her brother Steve Martin of McCook, Nebraska; aunt Berniece Zerger of Arvada; sons and their wives, Erik (Marilyn) Johnson of Pueblo West, and Scott (Kelley) Johnson of Canon City; grandchildren Clint Johnson, Vivian Johnson, Josh (Keara) Johnson, Morgan (Adam) Pfaff, Marybeth (John) Jordan, Marriah Dolick, Amber Bradburn, and Ben Kimmick; great-grandchildren Jiuliana and Kashton Johnson; Gabriella, Maddon, Isabella, and Rakella Shepard; Jacob, Janelle and Jaylee Jordan; Natalie, Layla and Adam Kimmick; and many in-laws, cousins, nieces, and nephews across the country.
A memorial service will be held 10:00AM, Tuesday, November 26, 2019, Wilson Memorial Chapel, 1449 S. 9th Street, Canon City, Colorado 81212.
In lieu of flowers please donate to the Canon City Volunteer Fire Department, c/o FF Memorial Park Project, 1479 N. 15th, Canon City, Colorado 81212.
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