Elizabeth "Liz" (Seligsohn) Johnson (1942 - 2017)

7 entries
  • "I am so sorry for your great loss. May the God who "binds..."
    - CW
  • "I am so sad to hear of Liz's passing. What a wonderful..."
  • "I am sorry for your loss. May prayer comfort you. 1..."
  • "Nate, so sorry for you loss. Liz was one of those folks..."
    - Jim Douglas
  • "On this Mothers' Day, sending love, light, and all good..."
    - Candida Scott Piel
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Elizabeth (Liz) Seligson Johnson, 74, of Missoula, died at home surrounded by her family on Wednesday, April 12, 2017.

She was born September 1, 1942 in a Jewish hospital in Hampton Court, London, to Rudolph and Gerda Seligsohn. Rudolf (the former Rabbi of Bonn) died shortly after her birth. Liz lived in Richmond, England until at age seven she and Gerda moved to New York to live with relatives. After several return visits to London they decided to stay in New York and became U.S. citizens, eventually moving to Ann Arbor, Michigan, where Liz went to high school. She attended Earlham College and the University of Michigan where she earned a BS in Conservation Education and a teaching certificate. There she also met her husband Nate and married on July 12, 1969.

The Johnsons moved to Anchorage, Alaska where Liz helped start the Alaska Center for the Environment and worked on Jay Hammond's successful campaign for governor. After a year teaching in Kodiak she moved back to Anchorage for five years where she helped rebuild a house, worked as a paralegal and brought Adam and Benjamin into the world. Nate's job then took them to Juneau where she worked for the Alaska State Arts Council, then the State of Alaska as a retirement counselor until she retired in 2000. During her government employment Liz was responsible for the northern and western regions of the state and travelled to remote sites regularly. She volunteered a great deal of her time to the Glacier Swim Club, and at swim meets worked far into the night to prepare for the next day's swims.

Shortly after retirement, Liz and Nate sold their house, remodeled and packed their van with two old sea kayaks on top and traveled around Alaska and the Yukon. One highlight was kayaking a stretch of the Yukon River and driving the Dempster Highway to Inuvik with the sun up 24 hours a day. Over the years they traveled throughout the US and Canada often volunteering at national parks and wildlife refuges and seeking out hidden places to listen to the local people tell their stories. They were thankful for their stay at McNeil River Falls on the Alaska Peninsula, watching 30 to 40 brown bears feeding on salmon and being oh, so close!

The Johnsons visited London several times and walked four long distance trails in England and Scotland, spending energy during many a wet day, always thankful for a home cooked dinner and a warm, dry bed at night. They hiked and camped in Tasmania, New Zealand and Patagonia in Chile. Volunteering at several national parks in Botswana, Namibia and South Africa they helped collect and analyze information from Nile crocodiles to elephants to black rhinos. They also walked four different Caminos in Spain and France and visited their son Ben in Berlin, Germany.

Liz loved people. Meeting, talking to, getting to know and helping them: it always lifted her spirits. She was a good listener. She loved hiking, kayaking, swimming, biking and running - really anything outdoors that took a little energy. She also liked classical music and sang in choruses in Anchorage and Juneau. Liz was an active member of the Juneau Jewish Community.

Her greatest adventure was raising two small babes to adulthood and independence.

Survivors include her husband Nate of Missoula, son Adam of Missoula, his wife Mirtha and children Emilia and Samuel, son Ben of Berlin and three cousins, Gordon Seligson of San Francisco, Paul Seligson of Philadelphia and Irene Seligson Wolff of Sao Paulo, Brazil.
Published in The Juneau Empire from May 8 to June 7, 2017