December 20, 1914 - March 9, 2017
After a long and vibrant life, Elsie Johnson, a longtime resident of Kingsburg, passed quietly in her sleep March 9, 2017. She was 102. Born in the Oklahoma Pan Handle in 1914, Elsie was the only girl among 5 children. In her youth Elsie survived a horrible Typhoid Fever epidemic in which she lost her mother, and she and her 4 brothers were hospitalized for long periods.
One year after graduating high school Elsie married a Texan, Jack Irion, in 1933. Due to the Dust Bowl and The Great Depression they relocated by passenger train to Los Angeles CA the following year. Jack passed away in 1953 leaving her with 3 very young children. Elsie remarried in 1954 to, James 'Jim' Johnson, of Sanger. Jim brought with him two children, Jack and Jana. In 1957 the family bought a small farm a mile north of Traver. They sold the farm in 1959 and bought another small farm just outside of Kingsburg.
For many years Elsie was the only cook at Traver Elementary School, while Jim and their sons ran the farm. Jim became a Kingsburg Police Officer and was later elected Fresno County Constable of the Kingsburg Judicial District. Jim passed in 1986.
Elsie was an avid local volunteer and active member of the American Legion Auxiliary. Elsie had a bright smile, warm heart, and never turned away anyone in need. As the Traver Elementary School cook Elsie made sure the poorest of children always had plenty to eat.
In her 102 years of life Elsie lived through The Dust Bowl, The Great Depression, World Wars I and II, Korean and Viet Nam wars, the Middle East Wars, President Kennedy's Assassination, and she saw the first humans walk on the moon.
Elsie leaves behind sons Larry, Jack and Dale, daughter Elizabeth (Nolasco), and dear sons and daughters-in-law. Daughters Jacquelyn 'Jackie' (Everitt), and Jana (Bray), both of Kingsburg, predeceased her in death. Elsie also leaves behind many beloved grandchildren, great grandchildren, and great great grandchildren.