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1921 Edna 2016

Edna Jean (Massey) Johnson

December 25, 1921 — July 28, 2016

Grand Marais

Edna Jean Johnson, age 94, of Grand Marais, died early Thursday morning, July 28, 2016 at the Tendercare Health Center in Munising.  She was born on December 25, 1921 in Cheboygan, Michigan to Ronald and Agnes (DuFrense) Massey.  Edna Jean  grew up in Cheboygan.    She married Dominic Venturato and began raising her family.  Edna Jean worked as a manager for the Wahlgreen Cafeteria in Grand Rapids and at the Rose Patch and Labels Company.  In 1948, she moved to Grand Marais and cooked at the logging camps.  Edna Jean married Arvid Johnson in 1949 and her family grew.  She was a homemaker and raised her children.  Edna Jean then attended Northern Michigan University and earned her degree in social work.  She initiated the first meal program for Senior Citizens in Alger County and from this, was hired by the Alger Marquette Community Action Board as a licensed social and outreach worker.  Edna Jean performed various services for the needy in Grand Marais and retired from AMCAB in 1985.  After her retirement, she worked through Green Thumb as a custodian for the Burt Township School system.  Edna Jean worked for Project S.E.L.L.S. (See and Enjoy our Land, Lakes, and Streams) at the Pickle Barrel location and her knowledge of the area was an asset to many.  Edna Jean was a member of Holy Rosary Church where she also taught the CCD classes and served in other ministries.  She volunteered with the Grand Marais Women’s Club for many years and served as secretary and delegate to conventions.  She then became elected President of the U.P. Women’s Club.    Edna Jean was active in 4-H for many years and also volunteered for Hospice and the Alzheimer’s Association.  She volunteered and served on many committees that promoted the welfare of Burt Township and was enrolled in Alger County Women’s Roll of Honor.

Edna Jean is survived by her sons - John (Jo) Venturato of Grand Marais, Joseph “DJ” Venturato of Grand Marais, Denis (Paula) Johnson of Harvey, Jim (Pat) Johnson of Sault Ste. Marie, and Bob (Dawne) Johnson of Rudyard; daughters – Debra (Cliff) Beek of Allegan, MI and Terri (David) Paradise of Cooks; daughter-in-law – Fairy Venturato; fourteen grandchildren; forty great-grandchildren; sister-in-law – Audrey Massey; and numerous nieces and nephews.   Edna Jean was preceded in death by her husbands Dominic Venturato and Arvid Johnson, son Gary Venturato, longtime companion Arvo Kallio, daughter-in-law Elizabeth Venturato, brothers Bernard “Boots” and Joseph Massey, grandson Richard Venturato and granddaughters Dorothy Venturato and infant Elizabeth Venturato.

Services will be held on Monday, August 1, 2016 at the Holy Rosary Church in Grand Marais.  Visitation will be from 11:00 a.m. until 12:00 noon.  Father Tim Hruska will celebrate Edna Jean’s Mass of Christian Burial at noon.   Interment will be at the Holy Rosary Cemetery in Grand Marais.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Edna Jean (Massey) Johnson, please visit our flower store.


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