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Home arrow News arrow Obituaries arrow Obituaries for May 23, 2011

Obituaries for May 23, 2011

Lois Stofft Johnsen

Lois Stofft Johnsen

Lois Stofft Johnsen, 80, a former Baker City resident and a 38-year resident of Santa Clara County, died May 7, 2011, with her husband by her side.

She had been under hospice care in Los Altos, Calif., after post-operative complications from surgery on Feb. 2, 2011, to remove a brain tumor.

Her memorial service will be at noon on June 2 in the Reflections Room at Los Gatos Memorial Park, 2255 Los Gatos-Almaden Road, San Jose, Calif., 95124, 408-356-4151.

She was born on June 2, 1930, at Baker City. She was the younger sister of Paul William Stofft and the daughter of William and Ruth Durkee Stofft, owners of the Corner Grocery in downtown Baker City. They preceded her in death. As an unpretentious student at Baker High she enjoyed orchestra, playing the cello, and Glee Club. In June, 1950 she earned an associate degree in Secretarial Studies from Eastern Oregon College in La Grande.

Lois married Albert Charles Johnsen, a native of Hood River, on June 25, 1950, a date shared with the start of the Korean War. Three daughters were born in Hood River before the family relocated several times, first to Portland, then to Albuquerque, N.M., Denver, Colo., and six years in Kansas City, Mo., where a fourth daughter was born. They returned to Oregon for another couple years before settling at Santa Clara and San Jose.

The youngest daughter swam for the Santa Clara Aquamaids for 5 years and Lois quickly became involved in fundraising bingo nights each week and sometimes joined the team as a chaperone for out-of-town swim meets.

After raising four daughters, Lois went back to school, but this time working in the Young Mothers program for the Santa Clara Unified School District. The Young Mothers program helped pregnant teens/teenage mothers progress toward a high-school diploma. Difficult but rewarding work, Lois was involved with the program for 10-plus years before her retirement.

She was a member of the Santa Clara Historical Society and served as second vice president for a time. She was also a lifetime member of the Baker County Historical Society and a member of the Society of Genealogy of Durkee. She spent much of the last decade rediscovering her varied heritage — German, Swedish, Irish, English, French Canadian and Ottawa Indian.

Two of her great-grandfathers participated in the Civil War, Stephen Durkee and Obediah Crane. Durkee was a member of the Iron Brigade. He was injured in and survived the battle of Gettysburg. Another great-grandfather, Wesley Fletcher and his parents, farmed in Pajaro Valley south of Santa Cruz in the California Gold Rush days.

Lois and Al also joined the Sons of Norway, Nordahl Grieg Lodge 6-52, Los Gatos, Calif. They enjoyed lodge meetings, held the position of greeters for a year and even took up learning Norwegian. Lois had also been a member of the Order of Eastern Star, Hood River Chapter.

An avid sports spectator, Lois was versed in most sports and could hold her own in discussing tennis, football, racing and golf.

Lois was the family seamstress and also knitted, embroidered, worked with ceramics and other crafts. She was also comfortable with outdoor activities such as camping, huckleberry picking, clam digging, swimming and skiing.

Survivors include her husband of 61 years, Albert C. Johnsen; her four daughters Janet J. Brown and husband F. Quincy Brown of El Dorado Hills, Calif., Rebecca Johnsen of San Jose, Calif., Joanne J. Riske and her husband Al Riske of Sunnyvale, Calif., Gretchen Clark and her husband, Alan Clark of Phoenix, Ariz.; three grandchildren, Nicholas Q. Brown and his wife, Brittany, of Tacoma, Wash., Avalon Clark and Holiday Clark of Phoenix, Ariz.; her sister-in-law, Joyce Stofft of Raleigh, N.C.; and her brother-in-law, Edgar Johnsen of Salem.

 
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