Karen Andreas Johnson “Cousin Karen,” age 81, of Escanaba and Gladstone, passed away Tuesday, December 7, 2021 at Emmons Adult Foster Care Home in Bark River. She was born on May 27, 1940 in Escanaba, the daughter of Andrew and Astrid (Larson) Olson. At a young age, Karen’s mother passed away and she lived with her aunts and uncles until she graduated from Gladstone High School in 1958. Following graduation, Karen took the train to Chicago where she found work and was employed at a nursing home. She then worked at Walgreens Drug Store in the office for 30 years. The former Karen A. Olson married Noel Johnson on April 26, 1976 and he preceded her in death on August 26, 1997. Together, the couple shared 21 years of marriage. In 1997, Karen moved back to Gladstone and was a member of First Lutheran Church. She then moved to Escanaba in 2000 and was a member of Bethany Lutheran Church and was involved in the WELCA. Karen was also known as “The Card Lady.” At one time she was sending more than 300 cards at Christmas. She also sent birthday cards to all of her cousins and their children, her friends and their children. It gave her great joy to send and receive cards. Karen loved dancing and enjoyed teaching her younger cousins all of the dance steps. Karen also enjoyed singing karaoke and dancing at the AMVETS. She loved her family, especially her stepson and his family. Karen was an avid sports fan and cheered on the Chicago Cubs while living in Chicago. She also enjoyed watching NASCAR and followed the driver Kevin Harvick. Karen liked watching all sporting events on TV. She shared her love of collecting baseball cards with her two grandsons. Karen is now dancing in Heaven.
Karen A. Johnson is survived by stepson, Gary (Jan) Johnson; step-grandson, Brian Johnson; and several cousins.
In addition to her parents and husband, Karen was preceded in death by aunts and uncles who helped raise her, Dagney and Robert Smack, Ethel and Albin Larson, Helen and Allan Erickson, and Martin and Lorene Larson; and step-grandson, Brent Johnson.
Visitation will be held from 2:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m., Monday, December 13, 2021 at the Anderson Funeral Home in Gladstone. Funeral services celebrating the life of Karen will follow at 3:00 p.m., Monday, in the Anderson Funeral Home Chapel with Rev. Terry Frankenstein officiating. A luncheon will be served at the conclusion of the services in the Anderson Funeral Home reception room. Masks will be required. Burial will take place in Fernwood Cemetery in Gladstone.
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