Cover photo for Susanne Kim Johnson's Obituary
Susanne Kim Johnson Profile Photo
1958 Susanne 2019

Susanne Kim Johnson

September 30, 1958 — January 6, 2019


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.




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