Connie Marie Johnson went home to be with her Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ on February 17, 2019. She was born in Tacoma, Washington on March 8, 1950 and raised in Minneapolis by her loving parents, John and Pauline Vanderhoof. Her sister Julie and her parents preceded her in death and are currently celebrating her entrance into heaven.
Connie was an intelligent woman and gifted with many talents. She was a creative writer, a voracious reader, and lover of many art forms. She became certified in working with ceramics and taught this skill to young school children. She loved flowers and became a Floral Designer attending the Floral Design Institute followed by opening a home-based floral design business. Her love of flowers extended to becoming a Master Gardener by attending the Washington State University extension courses. She loved to travel and, after taking Chinese History at Pacific Lutheran University, arranged for her family to make an unforgettable trip in inland China.
She was active in church serving as a Sunday School Teacher and an Awanas’ leader. Connie was a strong Pro-Life advocate and her compassionate counseling at the Tacoma Crisis Pregnancy Center resulted in several young women choosing life for their unborn baby. She was an exceptionally good listener and sometimes complete strangers would sit down next to her in public and literally bare their souls connecting to her unjudgmental, compassionate soul. She provided this type of compassion even to the nurses who were caring for her during her final days on earth.
As varied as her interests and accomplishments were, her greatest love by far was her role as a mother to her children, Noelle (spouse Jonathan), Eric(Michele), and Michael (Valentina), and as Nana to her grandchildren Patrick, Chandler, Madi, Katelyn, Lara, Avonlea, Audrey, Alyssa, and River. She so wanted to dance at each of their weddings. Her greatest love was her role as a Christian mother guiding each of her children to a personal saving relationship with her Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Her greatest regret was that she was deprived of the time she wanted to spend with her grandchildren because of the relentless progression of Sjogren’s Disease and the residuals of a stroke in 2013. Her final wish was for the preservation of her nuclear family and her greatest desire was that each one knew Christ as their personal Savior.
Richard, her husband of over 40 years, has lost his best friend, his wife, his completer, his very heart, yet he is comforted knowing that she is no longer suffering unremitting daily pain and is safely tucked in the arms of Jesus. Connie made a difference in the lives of many people, but especially in the lives of those that mattered most to her, her family.