|Todd with his mom and dad|
Lynne was born on November 1st, 1942 to George and Libby Johnson in Clarissa, MN. She and her family moved to Staples when she was two years old. She
|Lynne caught a BIG fish|
Lynne was confirmed at the Congregational Church in Staples. She went to church by herself each week because her parents didn't attend church. Lynne played clarinet in band. She worked at a car-hop as a waitress (she took food out to the waiting vehicles). Lynne and her family moved to Verndale before her Junior year of high school. Her dad was the meat cutter (starting in 1958) for the grocery store in Verndale. He was the G in "E & G Grocery." Her mom worked there too. While finishing high school, Lynne also worked there. After graduating from high school, Lynne moved to the Twin Cities to work at a bank. She preferred life in Staples, so she came home and began working at Barker and Barret (income tax and insurance).
Lynne met her future husband, Doug, while he was attending Tech School. Their first date was going to Wadena for hamburgers along with Doug's friend from Tech School and Lynne's friend, Eileen Brock.
Doug and Lynne were married in 1961. Lynne's aunt gave them a food shower! People brought canned goods and other non-perishable food items for the new couple. What a great idea! After getting married, Doug and Lynne moved to the Twin Cities. Doug worked for General Mills doing government work and Lynne worked in Minneapolis at the Oscar Shot Company. She made small transformers. All the workers were women. They had to solder little wires and coils.
Todd was born in 1963 in Minneapolis. Lynne simply adored her son! Her nickname for him was Toad. While Todd was still a baby, the family moved to Rochester for a few years. Later they moved to Glenwood and Villard, then back to Staples. Lynne stayed home with Todd until he began Kindergarten there.
Once Todd began school, Lynne began working for Staples High School. She worked there for 25 years. She did secretarial work and was a teacher's aide.
|Todd with his mom and dad|
Todd remembers taking a ceramics class with his mom when he was about 8 years old. He made a frog incense burner. He remembers taking trips out west with their 1970 Ford Pickup and topper. There was no heat in the camper and no air conditioning in the truck. Later the family took trips up to Canada with a pop up camper (and the same Ford Pickup). They would go fishing in the Bighorns too. Todd remembers, "Mom rode horseback with white knuckles because she held onto the saddle horn so tightly. She humored us."
|Lynne and Doug at Todd's uncle's wedding|
Another fond memory of Todd's is of riding a 1970 Moto-ski snowmobile together. Doug got the longest one he could find so all three of them could ride on it. It was the most expensive snowmobile available ($1,000), but it was cheaper than buying two. Todd rode between his mom and dad. I love the picture I see in my mind of their cute family riding together.
In 1973 Doug and Lynne started building their house in the woods about nine miles outside of Staples. They carved out the woods and made a farm for themselves. They had cows and horses. One summer a horse cut its leg. Lynne cared for the hurt animal. Its name was Sugar and it ended up being Todd's horse.
Lynne was soft spoken and rarely raised her voice. She was a very supportive mom to Todd. She particularly enjoyed fall school shopping with him. They'd go to the big town of Wadena and shop at the J.C. Penney store.
After her 25 years of working for the Staples High School, Lynne did secretarial work at the Energy Office, which was a government program to survey houses to find energy leaks. Later she worked at Freshwater Co-Op, which was a place that worked with troubled youth. Her last job was being a teacher's aide at the Lincoln Model School.
Todd told a humorous story, "Once when Dad and I were away on a trip, Mom grabbed a 12 gauge and, as she put it, 'blasted a skunk on the road!' That was the first time she had ever shot at anything. After that she decided to be a deer hunter."
|Lynne and Doug|
One day Lynne wanted to try a new recipe for pie that she had discovered in the Rural Electric Cooperative Newspaper. Following the instructions exactly, Lynne put the pie into a paper bag before popping it into the oven. Everything was going fine until Doug came into the house and asked, "What's that smell?" She said, "It's probably the paper bag." Doug said, "What paper bag?" "The one that's in the oven," Lynne replied. Doug asks, "In the oven?!?" He walked over to look, opening the oven door (letting in lots of oxygen) and suddenly the pie and paper bag went up in flames! He managed to throw the pie and the flaming bag out the window. The fire went out. The pie landed right side up, so they tried to salvage it. But, it was too full of ash and it tasted too smoky to eat! Everyone got a good laugh. The Sapps are still laughing over that story!
Christmas was always a special time for Lynne. One thing that Todd always did to his mom was grab her neck and pinch it between his two fingers and then in a high squeaky voice he'd sing, "We wid you a mewry cwistmas....." It made her squirm and gave her goosebumps all over. I can just imagine!
Lynne enjoyed sitting down in the evenings with Todd and Doug to watch TV. They watched Lawrence Welk, Mutual of Omaha's Wild Kingdom, and Hee Haw. When they entertained guests on a Saturday night, they let Todd stay up and watch Saturday Night Live with them. Usually he had to go to bed early.
Lynne was very particular. Everything had to be "just so" in arrangement. There was no dust or water spots anywhere. Now I know where Todd gets his title of "Mr. No Water Spots!"
|Todd with his mom and dad|
I look forward to meeting Lynne in Heaven someday. I'm going to give her a big hug and thank her for raising such a wonderful son!
|Lynne and Doug with grandson, Daniel|
|Lynne with grandsons James and Daniel|