MISSOULA — Lois Jean Fuller Johnson was born in Missoula to Earl and Ada Fuller of Bonner on June 22, 1927. She grew up in Bonner and her love for and memories of the area was a pleasure for her to share with all. She was proud of her dad's good humor and his talented wood skills and admired her mom's sewing, cooking, and homemaking abilities and began her life long love of gardening and the outdoors.
Lois graduated from the Bonner grade school and the MCHS in Missoula. She belonged to many organizations and enjoyed her time there since she was very social and fun to hang around with. She met her husband Bob Johnson in high school and they started the journey of their life together.
After graduation, she worked at the Western Montana National Bank while waiting for her handsome AirCore man to return home. Their parents asked Lois and Bob to wait a year before getting married to save up some money, so being good kids they did...(wait not save)!
They moved to Missoula and lived for 20 years in several places starting with the strip houses near UM for $15 a month! They began their family which consists of daughters Debbie (Larry) Dillree, Vickie Johnson, Laurie (Frank) Rasberry, Jamie (Chris) Mostad and a son Dave (Suzi) Johnson.
The family loved to swim and camp and all learned to ski at Marshall Ski Area. Lois and Bob square-danced for many years and the children enjoyed watching them (and going for pizza afterwards).
Lois worked for a time at a local doctor's office and then began her full time job of child-rearing. She discovered a love for Tupperware and went on to show and sell it for numerous years. She worked up to managing a sales group in Missoula which provided the perk of company station wagons which transported the family in comfort for years. Her hard work helped provide lots of extras for her family but the one she would mention the most was cooking hamburgers at the ski area to help pay for their season tickets. Thus began her dislike of hamburgers.
She baked cookies almost continuously as her family grew up and everyone who came to her home knew where the cookie jar was. The love of cookies extended up to her very last night!
Lois and Bob built a home on the Blackfoot river just out of Bonner with the help of her father Earl Fuller and a novice crew of teenage girls and one young boy. As Bob and Earl said, a lot of bent nails happened.
Lois loved to entertain friends and relatives and have them share in the fun on the river. Many Christmas holidays, family reunions and rafting excursions happened during the 35 years they lived there. She also continued her gardening and carved out patches of vegetables and flowers in the woods by the river. Sometimes this meant chasing out the occasional nibbling deer or slithering water snake. Her high energy was renewed by catnapping every night after dinner.
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Lois talked Bob into exploring the motor home life and they had many fun trips and excursions including taking their grandchildren on adventures, visiting family in the Dakotas, Missouri, Wyoming, Washington, Oregon, California, Canada, and Arizona with a trek to Alaska with some special friends. They also just loved to take it on camp-outs and picnics close to home.
When they felt they were getting too old to do all the work around their place, they moved into Missoula to be closer to stores and doctors. They however moved several more times including back out to Clinton for six years and finally to their current home which Lois loved at first look for the back deck which reminded her of the deck on the Blackfoot River.
Lois joined Our Savior's Lutheran Church and was baptized and confirmed while in high school. She married Bob in the old church in 1948. After attending Immanuel Lutheran when they lived in Missoula, Bob and Lois returned as members of Our Savior's and spent many happy years participating there. Going to church was a joy for Lois as much for the fellowship that followed each service as for the service itself. Making newcomers feel welcome was a favorite activity. She also loved giving (and receiving) hugs! She was a loving and spiritual person even though a bit of a sharp witted spitfire at times. She led a life of helping others.
The side effects of several strokes and the resulting dementia robbed Lois of the ability to continue her active life but she was happy and comfortable and always the center of her family. Her love for Bob and his for her was as strong as ever and an inspiration. And up until the last day, she was still game for a visit and cookies!
Lois was preceded in death by her parents and her older sisters Edith Mae Nolan and Emma Lou Hook. She loved their families as much as her own and always was interested in what was happening in their lives.
Lois is survived by her beloved husband of over 71 years Bob and their children, grandchildren Bryan (Laura) O'Connor, Casey O'Connor, Sean (Alicia) O'Connor, Maris (Lorne) Barstad, Christine Johnson and Brittney Johnson and great grandchildren Dalton Manning (Bryan), Gage and Tiera O'Connor (Casey), Ryan O'Connor (Sean) and Bjorn Barstad (Maris).
The family wishes to thank the patient and respectful staff at St. Patrick Hospital of Missoula who aided them through the difficult last hours. Lois's peaceful face at the end was reassurance that she has moved on to a wonderful place of relief from her health issues and was surrounded in love on her way. Lois does leave a big hole in the hearts of all who loved her.
A celebration of her life will be held at 11 a.m. Our Savior's Lutheran in Bonner on Nov. 30, 2019.
Your well wishes will be appreciated but if you wish to do something in memory of Lois, her favorite organizations are Our Savior's Lutheran Church of Bonner and Missoula's Walk to End Alzheimer's. But instead of flowers or gifts, the family encourages you to take your families for ice cream in her honor!