Esther Johnson

Esther Johnson was born on Sept. 14, 1927, and died on Oct. 13, 2017. Esther came into the Methow amid fall’s glory and departed just the same. She was the youngest of four girls. Esther met her sweetheart, Dave, early in life. Inseparable, they married, had two wonderful kids and built an amazing life and legacy in the Valley.

In her early years, she packed apples each fall and proudly served on the election board, hand-counting ballots late into the night. For a number of years, she wrote Grange Insurance. In 1962, they purchased the Twisp Feed Store and soon built a permanent location on the main road through town. She was the bookkeeper and sales clerk, she made the store a welcoming place keeping coffee and homemade cookies on hand. It was a gathering place where local stories were told and the pulse of the farming community could be felt.

Always keeping the focus on farm life, baby chicks peeped in the spring and she personally supervised purchasing flats of flowers from specialty growers reflecting her love for gardening. Paying attention to little details was one of Esther’s strengths, down to keeping track of how many pounds of seed potatoes her customers needed each year. Acquiring a semi-truck and trailer, they made countless trips to Spokane and Wenatchee bringing feed, hardware and goods to the valley.

Retirement years were truly the joy of all her hard work, giving precious time to tend her vegetable garden, spectacular roses and dahlias. Traveling with Dave and being with her family and friends is what she loved most.

Proper and steadfast her whole life, she passed in the wee hours of the morning, slipping peacefully out of this world and into the next. Esther dearly loved her friends and family. Her family is so honored to have known and been loved by her. She was gracious, generous, kind and caring. She will be dearly missed by all who knew her. We pray there is a heaven where she is enjoying a marvelous family reunion in a beautiful garden complete with hand-churned ice cream.

She was preceded in death by her parents, George and Ida Shaw; her sisters, Hannah Wilms, Minnie Campbell and Ellen Demmitt; and her husband, Dave. He was the love of her life who she never stopped missing along with her son Wayne Johnson, who was taken suddenly in 1992.  She is survived by her daughter Fern (Richard Roark); five grandchildren, Steve (Kris) and Dan Roark, Michele (Mark Hampton), Clinton (Tina) and Lee (Amy) Johnson; 12 great-grandchildren, four great-great-grandchildren; and numerous nieces and nephews.

The family would like to extend heartfelt thanks and appreciation to Brookdale North for their wonderful care over these past six years as well as Hospice of Spokane North. A celebration in her honor will be at the Methow Valley Community Center in Twisp on Saturday (Oct. 21) at 2 p.m.