Cover photo for Cynthia Johnson's Obituary
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1957 Cynthia 2022

Cynthia Johnson

June 27, 1957 — May 22, 2022

Cynthia (Cindy) Rae Johnson, 64, of rural Erhard, Minnesota, transitioned to the Bigger Life on May 22, 2022, at home surrounded by her wife and many friends. Cindy was born June 27, 1957 to Pauline Margie (Pulford) Johnson and Harold Arthur Johnson in St Paul, Minnesota. She was very pleased with family visits leading up to her passing.

She graduated from North St Paul High School in 1976 then managed her father’s Culligan dealership in the 1980’s. Cindy not only designed a project in water treatment for a local Land O’ Lakes Cooperative near the Twin Cities, but also coached downhill skiers at a Colorado university in the winters during the 1980’s and ’90’s.

Cindy excelled at DePaul University, Chicago, 2010- 2015, earning a Bachelor’s Degree in Organizational Management with an emphasis on Paulian Critical Thinking.

Being an insatiable student, she often said each job was a class for her. Thus, her work life varied greatly. Loving everything water-related, she taught swimming as the Aquatics Director for the PAC in Perham. Then, as Director of Aquatics at the YMCA in Fergus Falls, people enjoyed her water fitness classes incorporating philosophical concepts. Cindy developed a city recreation and water safety program for the “Y” at Otter Tail County Lakes, broadening participation for more children.

Cindy and Carole Mitchell were married on October 15, 2017.

Cindy is survived by her wife Carole, sister Jodell Johnson (Bemidji), Kara Youngquist (Greg) of Cottage Grove and Cherie Johnson (Woodbury); Niece Megan Gross (Ryan Knutson), great nephews Jacob Gross and Ethan Knutson; Niece Sara Gross (Bemidji); nephew Nathanial Youngquist (Deanna), St Paul, great niece Maggie and great nephew Micah; Alex Youngquist (Denver) and Isaac Youngquist (Cottage Grove).
Cindy was preceded in death by her parents, Polly and Harold Johnson.

On the more personal side, Integral to Cindy’s being was forging relationships, valuing human dignity, respecting others. She listened deeply, a quality that drew many towards her.

In late December, 2021, deciding further cancer treatment would not halt its spread, she joined Hospice of the Red River Valley. With Cindy’s pain managed, she and Carole were able to drive 10,000 miles, visiting long-time friends in Michigan, Rochester, MN, Albuquerque, NM, Sedona, AZ, and Denver, CO from late December through March, 2022. They lived extraordinary experiences, celebrating friends before death.

With that idea in mind, by March, they planned a “Celebration of Life/Lives” (Cindy’s and everyone’s) for Sunday, May 22; Cindy hoped to be present to speak about love, the need to encourage and cherish others now.

The party commenced in the outdoor amphitheater Sunday afternoon on their property with singing, eating, enjoying music, dancing, telling each other their importance in our lives. Cindy was upstairs with more friends. As people were leaving before 5 pm, Micky Harmon played bagpipes; they sang “Amazing Grace” and “I’ll Fly Away,” while in her home Cindy passed peacefully, gently into the Bigger Life, surrounded by love.

Assistance provided by Olson Funeral Home in Fergus Falls.
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