Observations all along the line - Kimball & the Southern Panhandle First

Dorothy J. Johnson

Dorothy J. Johnson, 93, of Kimball, peacefully passed away, leaving behind a rich tapestry of love and devotion on Tuesday, April 9, 2024. Rosary service will be at 9:30 a.m. and funeral service will follow at 10:00 a.m. on Saturday, April 20, 2024 at St. Joseph’s Catholic Church in Kimball with Father C.P. Varghese and Father Robert Karnish co-celebrating.

Friends may visit http://www.cantrellfh.com to view her Tribute Wall and share stories and condolences with the family. Memorials may be given in her memory to either Legacy of the Plains, 2930 Old Oregon Trail #8500, Gering, Nebraska 69341 or St. Joseph’s Catholic Church. The services for Dorothy have been entrusted to the Cantrell Funeral Home.

Dorothy Johnson, born on October 29, 1930, in Columbus, Nebraska, to Edward and Mildred (Hardy) Murphy, Dorothy’s journey began with an unyielding spirit and boundless compassion. She attended and graduated from Kramer High School in 1948, Dorothy embarked on a life of service and dedication.

On March 25, 1951, she exchanged vows with Everett Johnson in Columbus, marking the beginning of a wonderful partnership. Settling in Kimball, Nebraska, in 1954, after Everett’s return from the Korean War, Dorothy embraced the role of a farmer’s wife with grace and joy.

Dorothy’s impact extended far beyond the farm, as she dedicated over two decades of her life to the Ryan White Title III Advisory Committee, advocating tirelessly for those affected by HIV/AIDS in Western Nebraska. Her involvement with the AIDS Walk Registration Committee, the Nebraska AIDS Project Volunteers, and the NAMES Project Foundation showcased her unwavering commitment to improving the lives of others. Not content with merely participating, Dorothy was instrumental in creating the Brainstorm group for stroke victims and their families in the panhandle, following Ev’s stroke in 1978. Her selflessness knew no bounds, extending to her community through her involvement with the Calico Board of Directors, where she earned the esteemed Calico Spirit Award.

A devout member of St. Joseph’s Catholic Church, Dorothy’s faith was the cornerstone of her life. Her move to Gering in 2010 saw her embrace Christ the King Catholic Church with the same fervor and devotion. Dorothy’s legacy of love and kindness lives on through her children, Jeffrey and Melanie, and her cherished grandchildren. Her passion for creativity knew no bounds, as she found joy in cooking, sewing, knitting, crocheting, painting, and stained glass work, leaving behind a tapestry of memories for her loved ones to cherish. Dorothy Johnson’s life was a testament to the power of love, compassion, and unwavering dedication. She will be deeply missed by all who had the privilege of knowing her.

Survivors include her children Jeffrey Johnson of Kimball, NE and Melanie Gerardi of Highlands Ranch, CO; grandchildren Genae Gerardi, Shane (Caitlin) Johnson, Connor Johnson and Kelsey (Brent) Millett; great granddaughter Amaya Millett; and numerous nieces and nephews.

She was preceded in death by her parents Edward and Mildred Murphy, husband Everett, son Edward Johnson, son-in-law Mark Gerardi; sisters Marilyn Degenhardt and Nancy Miller.