Elna Joanne Johansen passed away peacefully on Sunday March 11th, 2018 at Bronson Hospital in Kalamazoo, Michigan.
Elna was born on August 26th, 1938 to Andrew and Anna (Peterson)Jensen at the family farm in Meckling, SD. Elna attended grade school and high school in Meckling, SD. She attended college for two years at Grandview College in Des Moines, IA, one year at the University of South Dakota in Vermillion, SD and graduated with an Elementary Education Degree from Drake College in Des Moines, IA. Elna received her Master’s Degree in Elementary Education from Western Michigan University.
Elna was unite in marriage to John L. Johansen in August of 1959.
Elna taught school in the Chicago area for a short time, a one room school house in Nebraska, and 37 years in the Three Rivers School District. Elna loved teaching and her students. She continued to tell stories about her time teaching for years after she retired.
Elna enjoyed gardening, reading, movies, and watching the birds as they ate from her many bird feeders. It was always fun to be with her when the birds where around as she could identify them all and if you needed a movie review you could be sure that Elna had see the most recent movies and she was always happy to be the movie critic.
Elna was very proud of her family, especially her grandchildren and great grandchildren that lovingly referred to her as “Grandma Michigan”. The grandchildren have fond memories of her summer visits that always included a big cooler of fresh blueberries and the crazy boxes that she would send them every few months with games, books…lots of books, clothes and of course her favorite shoes…crocks! She was so excited to be a great-grandmother. She would call and talk to the little boys on the phone and continued her boxes of fun with them as well. Elna will be remembered often when we wrap up in the fleece blankets she made for all of us and as we hang the many Christmas ornaments on our tree each year.
Elna is survived by her only son, Aaron(Renee) Johansen Rapid City, SD; granddaughter, Amber(Matt) Taranto, Timnath, CO; grandson, Tyler(Shay) Johansen Rapid City, SD; grandson, Zachary(Olivia)Johansen Rapid City, SD; great grandsons, Isaac, Carsten and Asher Taranto Timnath, CO; brother, Ernest (Marlys) Jensen Meckling, SD; nieces, Kriss (Mark)Ibis, Kim(Mike)Dietrich, Kari (Ross)McKelvey; nephew, Kyle (Becky) Jensen and their families and numerous cousins
Elna was preceded in death by her parents and an infant brother, Evan.
A memorial service will be held at Bergen Lutheran Church in Meckling, SD at 10:30 AM on April 7th, 2018.