Marianne Rose Johnson, 83-year-old resident of Upsala, MN, passed away Wednesday, September 4, 2019 at Central Minnesota Senior Care in Little Falls, MN. A funeral service will be held at 1 p.m. on Saturday, September 7, 2019 at Word of Life Lutheran Church in Upsala, MN with Rev. Lyle Aadahl and Rev. Wayne Hjermstad officiating. Burial will take place in Gethsemane Lutheran Cemetery in Upsala, MN. A visitation will be held from 10 a.m. until 1 p.m. on Saturday at Word of Life Lutheran Church in Upsala, MN. Funeral arrangements are with the Shelley Funeral Chapel. Marianne Rose (Gerlach) Johnson was born on February 11, 1936 to Harold and Rose Gerlach in Chokio, MN. The family moved to a farm in the Upsala area in 1940. Marianne grew up near Upsala with her four siblings and attended school there. She then moved to the Twin Cities, where she worked as a nanny. Marianne returned to Upsala and married Harold Johnson on June 19, 1954. The couple moved to his family farm northwest of Upsala. They raised their three children and dairy farmed there until retirement, when son Bruce took over running the farm. Harold passed away in January, 2008. Marianne loved Jesus and knew her Bible well. She was an active member of Word of Life Free Lutheran Church located just west of Upsala. One of her gifts was Christian mentoring of the young ladies around her. Marianne was happiest feeding people. She was well known for her delicious cooking and baking. She had a God given gift of service and hospitality, as she brought many meals to others in the community. At Christmas time, she loved baking and sharing her many kinds of cookies and coffee cakes with everyone. Marianne and Harold were super fans of their grandchildren. They did not miss any of their events and games. Marianne is survived by her children, Bruce R. (Heather) Johnson of Upsala, Jan (Mike) Schultz of Upsala, and Brian (Erin) Johnson of Minnetonka; grandchildren, Joe (Jessica) Johnson of Upsala, Mallory Johnson of Billings, MT, Isaac Schultz of Upsala, Ethan (Maria) Schultz of Yorktown, VA, Haydn (Hannah) Johnson of Duluth, Harrison Johnson of Minneapolis, Sadie Schneider (Austin Boe) of Minneapolis; three great-grandchildren, Paisley and Berkley Boe of Minneapolis and Autumn Johnson of Upsala; brother, John (Marilyn) Gerlach of Sartell; sisters, Joyce Swanson and Marlys (John) Atkinson of Upsala and many nieces and nephews. Marianne was preceded in death by her husband, Harold; parents; step-father, Victor Johnson; two infant sons; granddaughter, Kirstin; brothers-in-law, Harold McCoy, Glen Swanson; sister, June McCoy; sisters-in-law and brothers-in-law, Dorothy and Herb Palm, Lorraine and Don Buzzell; nieces, Terry Johnson, Merlita McCoy, Colleen Mack and nephew, Alan Talvite. In lieu of flowers, memorials can be made to Word of Life Church, Upsala Community Center or Heartland Hospice.

To plant a tree in memory of Marianne Johnson as a living tribute, please visit Tribute Store.

(1) entry


A wonderful person and a thoughtful neighbor that will be greatly missed.

Sign the guestbook.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.