Honoring Tradition.
Celebrating Life.

Alison Johnson

April 28, 1943 - November 14, 2022
Grand Rapids, MI



Friday, November 18, 2022
1:00 PM EST
Live Stream
Faith United Methodist Church
2600 7th St NW
Grand Rapids, MI 49504


At the family's request memorial contributions are to be made to those listed below. Please forward payment directly to the memorial of your choice.

Great Lakes Division - Salvation Army Emergency Disaster Services
16130 Northland Drive
Southfield, MI 48075

If writing check, please include "Disaster Relief" in memo line along with "in memory of Alison Johnson"

Web Site


Below is the contact information for a florist recommended by the funeral home.

Ball Park Floral
8 Valley Ave.
Grand Rapids, MI 49504
(616) 459-3409
Driving Directions
Web Site

Life Story / Obituary


When reflecting on the life of Alison Johnson, it is easy to see both her unwavering strength and her unconditional love for her family. She was a shining example of kindness and charity, and she always went above and beyond to serve those around her. Nothing brought Alison greater joy than spending time with her loved ones in even the small, everyday moments. She was well known for her optimism and her ability to look for the positive side of every situation, which was such an inspiration to those around her. Deeply loved, Alison will be forever missed.

Alison was born April 28, 1943 in Tasmania, Australia. Growing up, she was a typical young girl of her generation in many ways. She spent the first three years of her life in her birth country of Australia before heading to the United States on a ship with her mother and her infant brother. Once there, they were able to reunite with her father in Grand Rapids, Michigan. The Kelsey family spent a few years living in St. Joseph before returning to Grand Rapids. Alison was the oldest child of her parents and was later joined by her two younger siblings, John and Megan. She began developing her personality at a young age, and she learned to always find the simple joys in life.

While pursuing her education, Alison attended a one-room schoolhouse in St. Joseph. When the Kelsey family moved back to Grand Rapids, she began going to schools local to the area, including Ottawa Hills High School. Alison enjoyed being the center of activity, and she truly loved to socialize and surround herself with friends. She also liked participating in drama and choir. Following her high school graduation, Alison took a few classes at Grand Rapids Junior College while working at Herpolsheimers, where she was even the voice of Tille the Talking Christmas Tree.

New and exciting changes were on the horizon for Alison as she met the man who would soon become the love of her life. His name was David Johnson, and the two first met at a rehearsal for a production at the Civic Theater. Alison was involved in the production, and David was sitting in the audience with a friend. He took notice of her, and they were able to connect at post production gatherings. It did not take long for a relationship to blossom between the two. With a desire to spend the rest of their lives together, Alison and David were married on Valentine's Day of 1964 at an Episcopal church in Muskegon. Though they postponed their honeymoon for a little over a year, they enjoyed taking a trip to Niagara Falls.

All who knew Alison can surely agree that, of all the things she loved in life, she treasured her family above all else. She and David were overjoyed to welcome their three children, Jennifer, Wendi, and Noel, into their hearts and home. Alison thrived in her role as a mother and was very involved in the lives of her children as they grew up. Though she worked a few jobs throughout their childhood years, her primary devotion was to her family. Alison was a leader while her daughters participated in Girl Scouts and enjoyed taking several memorable trips with them. She strongly supported her children in all of their activities and always cheered on their beloved team, the Huskies. Alison’s home was always open to anyone who called her “mom.” She always made sure to give her children all the tools they would need to succeed. Later in life, Alison was thrilled to become a grandmother and even a great-grandmother. She adored her grandchildren and doted on them, spending time with them as much as she could and saving every picture they drew for her. Alison always considered herself blessed to be surrounded by so many loved ones.

Alison was never afraid to work hard when it came to supporting herself and her loved ones. She worked in the office at Grand Rapids Brass before becoming a mother. Alison served her community by driving school buses, sometimes with her own children on the bus. She would go on to spend 20 years at Canteen, working her way into a position where she managed cafeterias.

Never one to sit still for long, Alison pursued many hobbies to stay busy in her free time. She fell in love with reading at a young age and continued to be an avid reader throughout her entire life. Alison’s passion for singing led her to sing in the choir and volunteer with various vocal groups. She also enjoyed painting, sewing, and knitting, even making Halloween costumes for her children and her grandchildren. Alison and her husband, David, loved to travel to visit family, and they spent winters in Texas. She was a collector of many knicknacks and figurines, and she liked to give out M&M themed gifts. Alison was a leader in her community and volunteered with the Salvation Army Disaster Emergency. She also enjoyed making meals and doing crafts for Supper House, a ministry of North End Community Ministry.

As her family and friends can surely attest, Alison truly understood the secret to a life well lived. She was a constant source of strength and encouragement, even in the most difficult of times. A loving wife and mother, Alison was unspeakably proud to watch her family tree grow to include so many members. She was never afraid to stand up for what she believed in and found joy in the simplest of things. Though she will be dearly missed, Alison leaves behind a priceless legacy that her loved ones will be honored to carry on in her footsteps.

Alison M. Johnson, age 79 of Grand Rapids, entered the presence of her Lord and Savior on November 14, 2022. Alison is survived by her husband, David; children Jennifer (Bob) Osborn, Wendi (Tony) Johnson-Haas, Noel (Suzette Sanchez) Johnson; grandchildren John (Lindsay) Osborn, Zachary (Stephanie) Osborn, Nicole (Nick Ballance) Osborn, Ally and Tim Haas, Barret (Heather Denton) Johnson, Nevin Johnson; great-grandchildren Cadence, Owen, Isaac and Ella Osborn, Elizabeth Johnson; brother, John (Barbara) Kelsey; as well nieces and nephews and relatives in her native Australia. She was preceded in death by her parents Jack and Francis Kelsey; and sister, Megan White. The funeral to celebrate and remember Alison’s life will be held on Friday, November 18 at 1 PM at Faith United Methodist Church, where friends are invited to visit with her family immediately following the service. For those who wish, Alison’s family suggests memorial contributions to Great Lakes Division -Salvation Army Emergency Disaster Services are appreciated. To read more about Alison, to share a memory or photo, or to sign her guestbook, visit www.heritagelifestorycom