Darlene Johnson has been a part of our Good Shepherd Family since 2017. Darlene is feisty and she would not disagree with that description. She does not “sit on the fence” and feels it is important to speak her mind and knows what is best for herself. This strength has served her well as she worked, raised a family, and encountered life’s bumps and bruises. Her soft side reveals the devotion to her five children and the satisfaction that she was a valued employee at SuperValu’s corporate headquarters in Eden Prairie for thirty years! Darlene enjoyed an impressive retirement party and felt the appreciation they held for her.
Darlene’s childhood began on a farm near Rockville for the first ten years. Along with her parents and younger sister, the family made a move to another farm located on the east end of St. Cloud. She amused herself with the usual childhood fun such as biking, exploring, helping on the farm, and enjoying the fresh bounty of the garden. Darlene recalls her mother canning up to 700 quarts each year from their garden. Her early school years were in a country school until the eighth grade when she began high school at Sauk Rapids. Darlene acknowledges that graduating in 1951 was an era that did not encourage college or career preparation for a woman. Expectations were different, accepted, and rarely challenged.
A favorite memory of that time was a treasured trip with her grandmother to Texas on the train to see family. It was just her and her grandmother enjoying themselves and the sites along the journey. Then the joy of seeing her grandmother visit with family that she missed. Another memorable trip was when Darlene flew to Chicago to visit with a friend. She recalls not wearing a seatbelt for the flight!
Darlene did marry and her five children were a blessing. Four daughters and one son. The children quickly grew and kept busy with school. Holidays were always a time for family to gather. Sadly, two daughters passed away and Darlene’s marriage did not last. However, Darlene kept her core values and strength to meet a new day. A move with her daughter in 1969 to the suburbs of the Twin Cities turned out to be just what she needed. She lived in several areas: Brooklyn Park, Hopkins, Plymouth, and Eden Prairie and enjoyed each community. There continued to be joyful moments with family, and she was lucky enough to have two amazing trips to Disney World.
Of all the memories Darlene has, one remains as clear today as it was in 1980. In a park in Hopkins, Minnesota she gave her life to Christ. She received the salvation she yearned for and has dedicated herself to Christ every day since. The blessings flow from that experience. She proudly has twelve grandchildren and fifteen great-grandchildren. Her beautiful white Persian cat, Mosha, gave her years of companionship. Darlene practices healthy eating habits including no sugar or salt. She enjoys using and staying connected through her computer with games and social media. She feels blessed indeed!