Shirley Janet Johansen
(June 27, 1937 - October 21, 2022)
Shirley Janet Johansen of Camrose, Alberta, passed away on Friday, October 21, 2022 at the age of 85 years.
Dear My Mom, Our Mom,
You were our pillar. You gave us direction, strength & hope. You taught us kindness, manners & consideration. You taught us to multi-task (some of us better than others). You worked hard at everything you did and life was not easy.
Mom worked at Bethany Nursing Home for 25 years as a caregiver. In her later years, when she moved to Rosealta, the staff there said she still liked to care for the other residents. After mom retired from Bethany, she spent many hours at the United Church. If we couldn’t find her at home, the first place to check was the church kitchen where she was more than likely to be cleaning and organizing. There were times when we would stop by to take her out for lunch, but her schedule was full, so we learned to book in advance.
Dale would not have known what to do with Tanner when he was young, if it wasn’t for Mom. Tanner was good for both Mom and Dale. Mom always said “God never gives you more than what you can handle”. This was true for Steven as he was born paralyzed. The doctors told Mom that he would never be able to walk, talk or have a job; with Mom’s determination, he did them all.
We always knew when she was mad at us. She didn’t say anything, but we sure got “A Look!”. She may have been upset with her girls but she always loved her son-in-laws.
Mom had “sliders” at the back door to cover our shoes when we came to visit, so we didn’t have to take our shoes off and she didn’t have to wash the floors. Mom was Brenda’s seamstress for many years. It seemed like every trip to town she brought in some mending to be done. Mom also helped Teresa make quilts out of the fleece from the sheep.
Mom had two types of breaking. The breaking of bones (of which she had many) and extreme car braking. Mom was in the hospital with one of her breaks when Isabel was born. She was wheeled right down and into the delivery room to hold her. Mom had great joy in the arrival of each and every grand and great-grandchild. She was proud of the kind people they are today. She was always happy to go on day trips for grandkids, whether it be dancing, 4H, or sports events and longer trips with Liz to see Robert. Liz became mom’s go to girl, when she needed assistance.
We remember coming home from school and the radio would always be on CFCW. We could smell fresh baked cookies or cinnamon buns, tomato soup with a dollop of butter, served in a cup, with crackers, and sometimes a grilled cheese sandwich. We sometimes had sugar sandwiches because we thought they were good, not because that’s all we could afford, and powdered milk with Nestle Quick Chocolate powder to make it taste better.
Mom’s ginger snap cookies, oatmeal cookies, and nanaimo bars were the best; as well as her chokecherry jelly. Mom also made great relish, and nuts and bolts. We don’t know what seasoning she used as we just can’t make them the same. She also had a clear bear shaped container that she kept chocolate bars in even though she didn’t eat chocolate.
In her retired years, Mom still baked. Not for herself, but for everyone else. She brought cookies to the UFA Farm Store for the staff, and they loved them. Mom loved to walk, whether alone or with a friend. She loved her garden and flowers. There was always a twinkle in her eye when she received flowers, no matter the color or kind.
If there was one thing for sure, Mom was always available when we needed her; whether it was a shoulder to cry on, a dish to wash, or a grandchild to look after. She was happy, she was sad, there was good, and there was bad. There were smiles, and there was laughter. Mom loved and was proud of each and every one of us in her own way. Mom answered to many names. First there was Mom, then Grandma, Granny and Great-Grandma, Shirley and Shirley Goodness and sometimes “Squirrely Shirley”. Mom had Grandpa Kerr’s attitude for life; “If the gas tank is half full, fill it” and “If you don’t have the money to buy it, you don’t need it”.
As she arrived at her home in Hawthorne, we learned that some of her caregivers were people that started their careers working with her. They said some of their tricks they learned from Mom. They really loved her.Everyone that knew Mom, appreciated her hard work ethic and sense of humor.
Mom’s last few weeks were hard. We watched her health decline and dementia take over. Even though she couldn’t tell us, we knew she knew we were there. The small hand squeeze, chuckle or a smile. Mom was tired, and ready to go to her last home. She closed her eyes, and went peacefully in her sleep.
Mom, now that you’ve arrived at your new home, find Barry and have half a beer and make a toast to the rest of us. When we think of you and reminisce, there will be smiles and laughter, and of course tears too.
Goodbye Mom. We Love You.
Left to cherish her memory are her children Teresa (Kenneth) Krause of New Norway, Brenda Wold of Meeting Creek, Liz (Ted) Cole of New Norway, Steven Heisler of Camrose, Robert (Glenda) Heisler of Toms Lake, BC, and Dale (Kelly) Johansen of Camrose; twelve grandchildren; 23 great-grandchildren; siblings Allan (Rosemarie) Kerr of Camrose, and Walter Kerr of Camrose; and sister-in-law Marj Sjogren.
Shirley was predeceased by her first husband Valentine Heisler; second husband Erik Johansen; grandson Johnathon Tribo; parents Peter & Jennie Kerr; sister Mary Burnstad; brother Harvey Kerr; and son-in-law Barry Wold.
A Funeral Service was held at 11:00 a.m., Wednesday, November 2, 2022 at the Burgar Memorial Chapel, 4817 - 51 Avenue Camrose, officiated by the Rev. Brian Hunter.
If family and friends so desire, memorial contributions in Shirley's memory may be made to the Camrose United Church or the Louise Jensen Care Centre - Hawthorne Cottage.