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Mueller's Tri-Cities Funeral Home
Darlin Leeta Johnson of Kennewick, Wash., passed peacefully early on August 3, 2014 into the loving arms of her Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. She was born on August 31, 1925 to Jens and Hulda Christensen in Minneapolis, Minnesota.
Darlin attended Augsburg College and Lutheran Bible Institute in Minneapolis before marrying Donald Herbert Johnson on September 1, 1950. They followed Don's parents when they relocated from Wisconsin to Spokane, Washington. The family moved in the summer of 1960 from Spokane to Kennewick when Don began working for Goddard's Furniture on Avenue "C" in Kennewick.
Darlin and Don were among the charter members of Ascension Lutheran Church in downtown Kennewick. Darlin worked for a time in the police department as Kennewick's first and only meter maid. Later she worked for the Tri-City Herald in the photo-engraving department. After the children were established in school, Darlin returned to her studies at Eastern Washington State College (now EWU), where she graduated in 1969 with a BS in Elementary Education. She began teaching at Basin City Elementary School, while continuing her education at the University of Washington, where she received a Masters in Library Science.
She continued to teach, substituting in area schools and libraries into her 60s. She volunteered with her church and throughout the community. After retiring Darlin traveled extensively, including Europe and South America, while continuing as a volunteer with World Mission Prayer League in Minneapolis and later with "VITA" (Volunteer Income Tax Assistance) where she assisted individuals with the preparation of their income taxes for many years.
Darlin loved music and it was an important part of both Darlin and Don's lives. They sang together in both their church and community choirs throughout their marriage. After Don's death Darlin continued to sing at church and in various community choirs, including the Mid-Columbia Chorale and annual productions of Handel's Messiah into her 80s.
Darlin was preceded in death by her beloved husband, Don, her parents and two brothers, James Christensen of Apple Valley, MN, and L. Jens Christensen of Minneapolis, MN. She is survived by her children, Craig H. (Heather Hill) Johnson, Pasco; Terry Lee (Chris) Johnson, Richland; and Ruth Elaine (Charles) Bowen, Sterling, VA, as well as her brother Don E. (Sharon) Christensen of Minnetonka, MN, and sister, Arlett Precious Christensen of Minneapolis, MN. She was Grandma to Darcy Lynn (Adam) Steele, Nathaniel L. Johnson, Noree Michelle (David) Dolphay, Karl Allan Johnson and the aunt to 29 nephews and nieces.
A service celebrating Darlin's life will be held at Lord of Life Lutheran Church in Kennewick on Saturday September 6 at 2 PM.
The family wishes to express their appreciation for the care she received from the staff at Legacy Home and from Hospice at the Chaplaincy. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made in her name to Hospice through the Tri-Cities Chaplaincy at www.tricitieschaplaincy.org or to Lord of Life Lutheran Church in Kennewick.
The family invites you to sign their online tribute wall at www.muellersfuneralhomes.com.
Mueller's Tri-Cities Funeral Home
1401 S. Union St. Kennewick, WA 99338
Published in Tri-City Herald on Aug. 17, 2014