Frances M. Johnson, 82, of Detroit Lakes, died on Wednesday, May 15, 2019 surrounded by her family.
Frances Louise McDaniel was born October 24, 1936, in Onida, SD, to F. Stuart and Irene (Steninger) McDaniel. In 1954 Fran graduated as class valedictorian from Blunt High School in Blunt, SD. After high school, Fran earned her Associates Degree from Cottey College, a two-year college for women in Nevada, Missouri, followed by attendance at the University of Minnesota. It was there, on a blind date, that she met her future husband Phillip Johnson.
On July 6, 1957, Fran and Phil were married in Pierre, SD. The couple lived in Minneapolis before moving to Detroit Lakes in 1960 where they raised three children; Eric, Gail, and Anne. The couple’s greatest accomplishment is their children and grandchild.
In 1960 she and Phil joined the United Church of Christ Congregational Church in Detroit Lakes. Fran served on the Diaconate and Council as well as the search committee, the Open & Affirming Task Force, and Courtesy Guild. Fran was a founding member of PEO Chapter DQ, an organization and sisterhood that meant the world to her. She served on the boards of the Cottey College Alumnae Association, Community Education, and the Long Lake Association. Fran was instrumental in starting recycling in the Detroit Lakes area, which opened on Earth Day 1970. She also dedicated numerous hours at the Food Pantry. Serving as an election judge was a priority for her, a commitment she made each election cycle for many years. Fran will be remembered for her uncanny word knowledge – few could match her ability with crossword puzzles and Scrabble. She also loved golfing, bowling and dancing with Phil at 50 Club. She owned and operated “A Glassy Place” depression glass shop for 30 years, where she made a lasting impression on people from the area and around the world. Her positivity was infectious; everything was always a glass half full.
Fran will be deeply missed by her husband of 61 years; Phillip, son; Eric (Bridget) Johnson (Detroit Lakes); daughters; Gail Johnson (Seattle, WA), and Anne (Dan) Abbe (Maple Grove, MN), granddaughter; Ellen (Jeremy) Johnson (Golden Valley, MN) and numerous friends.
Preceding Fran in death were her parents and brother James McDaniel.