Mildred Jeanette “Milli” Telford Johnson passed peacefully into the loving arms of her Heavenly Father at age 96 on Feb. 14, 2017. A long-time resident of Hendricks, Minn., and Pharr, Texas, Milli had lived in the Maplewood and Roseville communities for the last thirteen years.
Mildred Jeanette Telford was born at home on the family farm near Decorah, Iowa, on March 26, 1920. She attended school in Decorah where she was active in the Girls Athletic Association as a swimmer and diver as well as other school activities. She met the love of her life, Walter Johnson ‘40, while he was a student at Luther College, and they married in July of 1942. After spending a few years in Kansas while Walt served in the Army, they moved to his hometown of Hendricks, Minn., which Milli called home for nearly sixty years. After retirement, they enjoyed spending their winters in Texas, where Milli pursued her hobbies of playing golf, making crafts, and playing card games and bingo.
An amazing woman with a servant’s heart, Milli showed her love for her family, church, and community in a multitude of ways throughout her life. She was the ultimate homemaker – cooking wonderful Sunday dinners; baking weekly batches of bread, cinnamon rolls, and chocolate chip cookies; making holiday specialties including lefse, flatbread, cookies, and candies; and sewing beautiful dresses as well as knitting sweaters and mittens for her three girls. She worked at the Hendricks Hospital and was a selfless volunteer, serving the church by faithfully printing the bulletins every week as well as teaching Sunday School and leading Pioneer Girls. She enjoyed the fellowship of friends in the 20th Century Study Club and extension club where she took particular pleasure in sharing her craft ideas. During their retirement in Texas, she was a hospital volunteer and craft show coordinator. Her hands were never idle, and she was always working on a craft project of some kind as well as adeptly solving the daily crossword puzzle and crypto quip in the newspaper. She was quick to make new friends and was always ready and willing to lend a helping hand. Milli was a true Proverbs 31 woman: “Her children rise up and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her: ‘Many women have done excellently, but you surpass them all.’”
Milli has now been reunited in heaven with her beloved husband, Walt, and was also preceded in death by her parents, William and Jeanette Telford, brother Vernon, sister Roberta, and grandson Robert Fox. Many remain to cherish her memory: daughters Sue (Phil) Fox, Janann (Craig) Anderson, and Sandi (Randy) Geving; grandchildren Taryn (Nathaniel) Edman, Tova (Steven) Taylor, Lindsay Geving, and Carson Geving; great-grandchildren Sydney Fox and Wyatt Taylor; her sister, Carol (Tom) Norman; nieces and nephews, and many friends in Hendricks, Pharr, and the Twin Cities.