Life Story / Obituary
As her family and friends can attest, Kimberly Anne Johnson truly understood the secret to a life well-lived. She was a gifted person who loved to share her talents with those around her, and her zest for life was contagious to all who were near. Kim treasured her family above all else, and she was filled with unspeakable joy to become a mother and grandmother later in life. There were so many things she enjoyed, but nothing was better than sharing these experiences with the ones she loved most. Dearly loved, Kimberly will be forever missed.
The 1960s were an exciting time in America. We elected the young John F Kennedy as the 35th President of the United States, and by the end of the decade we had put the first man on the moon. Exciting change was also coming to the lives of Russell James and Kathleen Anne (Sullivan) Johnson, as they eagerly awaited the birth of their new baby. Their wait was finally over when the baby girl they named Kimberly Anne drew her first breath on October 1, 1967.
In many ways, Kimberly was a typical young girl of her generation. She grew up in the family home on Sibley Street in Grand Rapids, Michigan, alongside her siblings, Malinda, Tammy, and Russell III. Kimberly’s father worked as a piano technician and also ran a cafeteria, while her mother was a short order cook and a bus driver. As a little girl, Kim liked to play make-up and dress up with her dolls as her very best companions. Her love for baking began at an early age, and it remained with her for the rest of her life. The Johnson home was always bustling, as their family owned animals and mini bikes. In fact, many will remember Kimberly crashing a mini bike against a tree on one occassion! While holidays were spent at home, Kim’s family took fun-filled trips to Florida and California where countless precious memories were made. As a student at local schools, Kimberly excelled as a student. She attended Harrison Park Elementary, Oakleigh Middle School, and Union High School. In addition to holding down her studies, she also participated in drama and choir. These events and activities shaped much of her childhood. Kimberly graduated from Union in 1984, ready to begin the next chapter of her life.
There was nothing Kim treasured more than sharing her life with her loved ones. Being a very sympathetic person, Kim was naturally helpful. This made her career as a nurse and caretaker a great fit for many years.She was blessed to become a mother to four amazing children, Zackary Thomas, Blake Richard, Mary Katherine, and Julia Josephine. She took her role as a mother to heart, and she counted this as both her greatest reward and her richest blessing. One of her favorite things was to make her home a special place for her family. Kim enjoyed renovating her home, always challenging her creative spirit to try new things. It was easy to see that her faith was important, and she and her family were members of the Holy Spirit Church.
Kim was never one to sit still, and she had many hobbies to fill her time. She enjoyed art, painting, and crafts, often sharing her gifts and talents with others. She also had a love for music, especially when it came to the music of the Beatles, Patsy Cline, and Celine Dion. Kim’s favorite color was pink, and her favorite flower, a sunflower, was just as bright and beautiful as she was. As for her favorite foods, Kim enjoyed Italian foods, and she was a fantastic cook who made nearly everything from scratch. Most times, she baked cakes for birthdays. Kimberly loved the different worlds that books opened up for her, particularly Harry Potter and Stephen King novels. Over the years Kim and her family took memorable trips to Florida, Disney, Sea World, the Field Museum, and Cedar Point. She was very much the matriarch of her family, and she was so thrilled to become a grandmother as Isabella Rose and Adney were her greatest source of price and joy.
Kimberly Johnson was a loving mother and grandmother. Always eager to help, she did whatever she could for others in ways both great and small. Kim was the happiest of the social butterflies, and she never seemed to lack a reason to laugh. Although she was taken from her loved ones much too soon, she leaves behind a timeless legacy that is deeply rooted in selfless love that her loved ones will carry on proudly in her footsteps.
Kimberly Anne Johnson age 52, of Grand Rapids, passed away unexpectedly on June 15, 2020. She was preceded in death by her father, Russell Johnson. Kimberly is survived by her children, Zackary Lauer, Blake Lauer, Mary Katherine DeLuca and Julia DeLuca; grandchild, Isabella Rose and Adney Thomas; mother, Kathleen Johnson; siblings, Lynne (James) Cole, Tammy Bednarz and Russell (Andrea) James Johnson III; and many nieces, nephews and friends. A Visitation will be held from 2-4 pm on Saturday June 20, 2020 at Heritage Life Story Funeral Home, 2120 Lake Michigan Dr. NW (Social distancing and max of 10 per room is required) Please visit heritagelifestory.com to read Kimberly’s life story, submit a favorite memory, photo, or to sign the guestbook online.