Frances Marie Anderson was born to Lois and Axel Anderson April 5, 1927 in Langley, Wash. She and her parents lived for a short time with Axel’s parents on Langley Road before moving to a rented house on Second Street.
Axel died in 1930, and Fran and her mother moved to a small apartment behind the post office on First Street. When Lois married Charles Burk in 1932, the family moved back to the house on Second Street where Fran grew up.
She graduated high school in 1945 and moved to Seattle to work as a clerk for the Army and Navy until 1949 when she married her husband of 61 years, Howard “Howie” Johnson, in the Langley Methodist Church.
The couple resided at several locations in the Seattle area while raising a son and daughter. They returned to Langley following the death of Fran’s parents, and occupied her parent’s home at Second Street and Park Avenue across the street from the house were Fran grew up.
Fran was a wonderful historian. She observed and remembered people and events from her childhood with amazing clarity. At age 90, she remembered most of her high school classmates; what became of them, who they married, where they lived and could spell their names and the names of their parents!
Fran loved barbershop music and sang with the Sweet Adelines for 42 years. She still had a lovely voice at age 90, often breaking into song when the topic came up.
She was a caring and “can do” person with strong opinions who got things done. She served as president of the Marti Unit of the Ryther Child Center for 10 years, raising over $25,000 each year for the past few years.
Fran laughed often and wasn’t afraid of laughing at herself. She also had an underlying sensitivity that was sometimes masked by her brusqueness. She cared for her husband at home during the years he suffered with Alzheimer’s disease before his death in 2010.
A case of shingles in 2014 reduced the use of her right arm, but she fought the pain and lymphoma with amazing courage. She greatly appreciated what others did for her during her last years, and was genuinely surprised at the love shown her at her 90th birthday party.
Fran died peacefully at home surrounded by family and friends. She is survived by her son Jeff, daughter Pamela, brother William Burk, seven grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren.
A memorial service designed by Fran was held at the Langley United Methodist Church on Sept. 17, 2017.
Donations may be made in Fran’s name to: Ryther Attn: Organizational Advancement Department, 2400 NE 95th St., Seattle, WA 98115