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Mary L. VanFredenberg Johnson

1921 - 2014 Obituary Condolences
Mary L. VanFredenberg Johnson Obituary
Mary L. Van Fredenberg


Mary was born on Thanksgiving Day, 1921 (after her mother put the turkey in the oven) and passed away on April 1, 2014 at the age of 92. She grew up during the Depression in a small town in Wyoming, forming values of thrift, hard work, education and helping others. As valedictorian of her high school graduating class in 1939, she received a scholarship to the University of Wyoming.

After teaching in a one-room schoolhouse, she came to Washington, where she worked at Ft. Lewis, then managed the Mt. Rainier Ordnance Depot until she accepted a position in the Governor's office. Sent as a representative to a political convention, she met and subsequently married Donald R. Van Fredenberg, a long-time Seattle attorney.

Mary raised her family while devoting many hours of volunteer work to such organizations as the PTA and Children's Orthopedic Hospital. She was a member of West Side Presbyterian Church for over 40 years. After her children were grown, she returned to the work force, selling real estate, managing the family's rental properties and as a career counselor at Ballard High School. Mary and Don traveled the world.

After 13 years as Don's caregiver and his death from Alzheimer's Disease, she married Robert R. Johnson, another long-time resident of West Seattle. They enjoyed 14 wonderful years together as snowbirds, traveling between Green Valley, AZ and Allyn, WA. Mary is survived by her daughter, Sue (Somers), along with five grandsons and six great-grandchildren. She was predeceased by both of her husbands, her beloved son, Jim and her granddaughter, Victoria.

There will be no services at her request. Diagnosed with terminal cancer and congestive heart failure, she exercised her legal right to end her own life through the State of Washington's Death with Dignity Act. She donated her body to the University of Washington School of Medicine. Any donations in her memory may be made to Compassion & Choices of Washington, PO Box 61369, Seattle, WA 98141, The or The .
Published in The Seattle Times from Apr. 11 to Apr. 12, 2014
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