Barbara Johnson

Barbara Johnson

Sunday August 5, 1945 Sunday November 8, 2020

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Obituary for Barbara Jean Johnson

Barbara Jean (Gibson) Johnson, 75, of Staples, passed peacefully at the Staples Lakewood Hospital on Sunday, November 8, 2020, after a brave, heroic battle with COVID-19. Barbara (Grandma Pixie) was surrounded by her children the morning of her passing. A morning full of love, stories, music, and phone calls with her grandchildren.

Barbara was born August 5, 1945 in St. John's, Newfoundland. Her family emigrated to St. Cloud, Minnesota where she graduated from Tech HS in 1964. Along with Larry Johnson of Red Wing, Minnesota, she raised three children. Barbara held two degrees, including an MBA from Southwest State University. She was a gifted leader and teacher who spent a long career in human services as a passionate advocate of the disadvantaged and marginalized. She inspired loyalty, love, and excellence in those who worked with her.

Barbara (Grandma Pixie) loved travel, photography, music, dancing, and reading. She was an artist, musician, and home decorator with an impeccable sense of style and taste. She valued family and friendships above all else and had a smile and spirit that was contagious. Barbara was the center of a large circle of lasting friendships and the adored, admired leader of a large family. A kind, gentle giant at 4'10'' (she rounded up), Barbara was many things to many people. To us - her family, she was a hero, idol, role model, mother, grandmother, great grandmother, teacher, and friend. She is responsible for the best in each of us. Though her death was tragic and preventable, she leaves us with a lasting legacy of love, kindness, and compassion.

Due to the current pandemic, a celebration to honor Barbara's life will take place in the months to come. According to her wishes, her family will return her ashes to her family home in Upper Island Cove, Newfoundland.

Barbara is survived by her children - Wayne (Mary) Johnson of Red Wing, Kimberly (Kirk) Voge of Bertha, and Aaron (Jerrielynn) Johnson of Sartell; her long-time partner - John Gans of Staples; and brother - Bart (Kathy) Gibson of South Haven. Barbara is also survived by 14 grandchildren, 9 great-grandchildren, and friends too numerous to count.

In lieu of flowers, memorials are preferred.

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Melvena Quinn

The planet lost a beautiful person and heaven gained an angel. R.i.p. Barbara, I will never forget you.
Comment | Posted at 04:07pm via Condolence

Gail Vricella

Barb was an incredible woman and it was a joy to have known her. She touched many many lives for the better. Much love sent to her family and friends. Know she's now singing with the angels and watching out for you always.
Comment | Posted at 01:48pm via Condolence

Emily Johnson

Love you always gram-cracker 💙
Comment | Posted at 12:54pm via Condolence

Nik Johnson

To my idol, my friend, my Grandma Pixie. Thank you for all of your guidance. Love you forever
Comment | Posted at 10:14pm via Condolence

Kim Voge

I am forever broken 💔I need you mommy
Comment | Posted at 01:51pm via Condolence

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