SUSANNE KIM JOHNSON
September 30, 1958 – January 6, 2019
Susanne Kim Johnson, 60, died of cancer at CHI St. Joseph’s, Park Rapids on January 6, 2019. She wrote her own obit.
On September 30, 1958, I was born in St. Paul, MN. I was raised in Fridley and graduated at Coon Rapids in 1976. A girlfriend and I went out into the world as soon as I turned 18. We hitchhiked the next 5 years around the U.S. working different jobs. I inspected camping gear at a place in Santa Barbara, CA and picked bell peppers and tomatoes in Immakolee, Florida. I always felt that was some of my best experiences in my life. I helped to start a library in Saguache, Colorado at a hot spring. I rode along the Rio Grande River carving soapstone pipes at Black Rock Hot Springs, Arroyo Hondo, New Mexico. I did many different things and traveled to many states, coming back home to MN in 1981. I went to work planting trees and caretaking public accesses for Hubbard County. I went to work at Itasca State Park in 1983 and progressed from Housekeeper at Douglas Lodge to supervisor of the cleaning crew. I put up with bureaucratic B.S. for 32 years and they threw me out of my job for getting sick in 2016. I loved blues concerts (and dancing at them), rock hunting, carving sculptures, gardening, guitar and harmonica. Also, writing and playing music-my stage name was Shakey Legs. I met my life partner - Ira Hefta - in 1983. For the last 35 years we have built a life together living on the farm, loving the beauty and each other. We also have dogs (Obsidian & Onyx) that are like the children we never had. I always had an outlook on death like life – joy in spite of everything. Everyone grab a shot of tequila and remember my favorite toast – I drink to your health in the taverns, I drink to your health in my home, I drank to your health so damn many times, I did ruin my own! It’s all okay. My death will be a start of a new adventure. And remember, I could always let you in on my adventure and haunt the s**t out of you!
Those who died before me are my mom and dad (Vernon and Marcella Johnson), and my brother (Jerry Johnson).
I am survived by Ira, brother Terry, sisters Deb and Kelly, nieces, nephews, and step-son Andy and his family.
I want nothing religious at my death – and forget about the tears – just head out to the farm and drink all of Ira’s beers! Postscript by Ira.
Susie was one of a kind. I was lucky and privileged to have met her and spent all these years with her. I am planning a lawn party with live music by her friends on Saturday, June 1st, 2019. At that time, I will ask any who want to participate to walk down the hill with me and spread her ashes in her herb garden.
To leave online condolences or to view the video tribute please visit www.jonespearson.com