Monday, November 1, 2010

Aunt Jane

June 2010 at Nathan's party

Deborah Jane Johnson
June 1, 1952  - October 29, 2010

My Aunt Jane died last Friday night. She had AML and had gone through a Stem Cell Transplant in July using Stem Cell's from my father. Her stem cells had grafted but the steroids preventing GVH caused too much damage to her systems and she just couldn't recover.

One of my earliest memories of family is going with Aunt Jane when she drove a school bus route. I think I was about 3. We left long before dawn to start the route. I sat in the first seat across the aisle from her so she could keep an eye on me. I fell asleep about halfway through and woke up back at the bus barn. I was so disappointed to miss seeing the school.

When I was 6 we lived in Portland, OR while my dad went to Multnomah. Jane and Dwayne lived in Gresham while he attended the mortuary school at Mt. Hood CC. They lived close to the campus and we would go out there and walk onto campus to watch old movies. That summer we saw Old Yeller and the Jungle Book (I think we saw more but those are the ones that stuck with me.) Dwayne had to make a funeral mask out of plaster and hung it above their front door. It totally freaked me out. To this day I don't like anything on or near my face.

Later they moved into Portland (not sure where but I remember we turned at the Fred Meyer). My uncle had the coolest garden in the attic. Then they moved to the Hollywood district of Portland- I can still find that house because I was driving when they lived there. It was about 20+ LONG blocks from my great-grandparents apartment (I know how long it was because we walked it one day).

I loved going to visit them- when we were there nothing was expected of us, I could read or watch TV all weekend. Dwayne died in July 2004. It was hard to imagine that he wouldn't be there when I went down. I always told each of my uncle's they were my Favorite Uncle.

Jane loved to laugh and sing and to be creative. She loved to weld and do stained glass and garden and crafts. She loved camping and family. Best of all- she loved Jesus. She spent 3 days with us in June when Nathan was home from Afghanistan. We went to an outdoor concert  and cooked and baked and played dominoes.

She left behind a daughter, Sarah, who will be lost without her mother. 2 brothers, 2 sisters, many nieces and nephews, and great-nieces and great-nephews.


  1. What beautiful memories to treasure!
    So sorry for the loss,
    Prayer to you & yours,

  2. Precious memories. We love you and your family and will continue to lift all of you up in prayer.