Dec. 25, 1926 - Nov. 4, 2013
Resident of San Jose
Joy Johnson (nee Kratzke) passed away peacefully on Monday, November 4, 2013. She was preceded in death by her loving husband, Dr. Newell Johnson; her parents, Gust and Mabel Kratzke; her stepdaughter, Deborah Clark; her brother, Warren Kratzke and his wife Marcella; her sister, Laverne Mullen; her brother, Earl Kratzke and his wife Diane; and her brother-in-law, Donald Haugen.
She is survived by her stepchildren Derk (Mary) Johnson, Donna (Richard) Graffis, and Diana Boydston; grandchildren Jennifer Clark, Julie Clark, Philip (Andrea) Graffis, Michelle Graffis, Shannon Graffis, and Leah Boydston; sisters Faith (Charles) Anderson and Aletha Haugen; brother-in-law Richard Mullen; as well as numerous nieces and nephews.
Joy passed away one day after running her 25th consecutive New York Marathon. She always said she was going to "run until she dropped" and that was the way she wanted to go. Now she is up in Heaven with her Lord- happily running, socializing, napping, and catching up on her reading.
Joy was born in Minneapolis, MN, and graduated from Waconia High School in 1944. She had wonderful stories about growing up on the family dairy farm. After high school, she worked at a glider factory and then for the City of Los Angeles, CA- then attended the University of Minnesota where she graduated in 1952. She got a job in Duluth, MN teaching for two years. After obtaining her Master's Degree through San Jose State College, CA, she had a long teaching and coaching career at numerous Bay Area schools including San Jose High School and Willow Glen High School.
During her early years in San Jose, she met a widower with four children, Dr. Newell Johnson. They were married in Minnesota on December 29, 1964. She raised her family in faith and love, and delighted in being involved in their lives.
Joy was an active member for many years in Lady Lions, Las Jardineras Garden Club, and the American Antiques Club. She was also a devoted member of her beloved Trinity Lutheran Church in San Jose, CA.
After Joy retired from teaching, she went on to run hundreds of 5ks, 10ks, Half Marathons, and Marathons (New York, Boston, Phoenix, and "Grandma's" and Twin Cities in Minnesota). But her favorite place to run was at her local Willow Glen High School track- where almost every morning she could be found at 5 a.m. running with her "track pack."
A woman of great faith, she enjoyed running because it was an extension of a life well lived. She would sing hymns, recite Bible verses, and think happy thoughts. She strived to be positive in every aspect of her life. She passed on that love of life to everyone who knew her.
We are grateful for all the prayers and kindnesses shown to our family at this difficult time. God bless you all.
Joy will be buried in Waconia, MN, per her request. A memorial service will be held at Trinity Lutheran Church, 1500 Leigh Avenue, San Jose, CA 95125, on Saturday, December 7, 2013 at 10 a.m. In lieu of flowers, please make memorial gifts to Trinity Lutheran Church, or your own church.
Published in San Jose Mercury News/San Mateo County Times on Nov. 29, 2013