ISLAND PARK, Idaho Margaret Leigh Johnson, 94, a longtime resident of Rapid City, S. D., died Thursday, July 13, 2006, at her home in Island Park, Idaho.
Memorial service will be held at the Ashton Methodist Church in Island Park at 11 a.m. Friday. Another service in her honor will be held at the First Baptist Church in Rapid City at 11 a.m. next Monday. Her request to be cremated has been honored and interment will be at the Mountain View cemetery in Rapid City. Margaret was born Feb. 18, 1912, in Manilla, Iowa, to Julius and Sadie Miller. The family ranched in the West River country of South Dakota near Faith. Margaret graduated from Faith High School in 1930. She worked at the bank in Faith after graduatiom. She married Wilbur Johnson in 1931. They celebrated their 71st wedding anniversary before Wilbur’s death in 2003. Margaret and Wilbur worked various jobs around Faith in the early years of their marriage. In 1936, Wilbur went to work for Tri-State Milling Company in Rapid City. They made their home there until 1951, except for an 18 month stay in Milwaukee, where Wilbur was a government grain inspector. In 1951, they bought a hardware store in Huron, S.D., which the family operated until 1954. After the hardware store was sold, the family moved to Fairview, where Wilbur operated the Fairview Mill Co. And Margaret worked part time at the Fairview Drug
After Wilbur retired from the grain business, they spent a year working at a Presbyterian Mission School in Ganado, Ariz., before returning to Rapid City to the house they had kept at 823 St. James. Wilbur worked for the assessor’s office of Pennington County until he retired in 1974. They stayed at 823 St. James until health considerations forced a move to the Primrose Assisted Living Center in Rapid City. They moved to Idaho in 2002 to live with their son, Larry, and his wife, Joyce. Wilbur died in 2003, but Margaret continued to live with relative independence in her own apartment adjacent to Joyce and Larry’s home. Margaret and Wilbur were active in civic groups and churches in every place they lived, but retained a special relationship with the First Baptist Church in Rapid City, where they particularly enjoyed singing in the choir. Margaret was also a longtime member of Sweet Adelines and an active member at the Canyon Lake Senior Center. In Island Park, she was a member of the Targhee Women’s Club and the Red Hat Mountain Mammas. Margaret always had a unique ability to find the good and the humorous in all of life’s situations. This ability is what made it such a joy to be with her.
Margaret was preceded in death by her parents; daughter, Joy Messier; brother, Julius (Buzz) Miller; and sister, Viola Johnson. Survivors include her children, Kay (Ed) Hammler of Havre, Larry (Joyce) Johnson of Island Park, Idaho, and Wilma (Dave) Hovland of Eau Claire, Wis.; 12 grandchildren; 20 greatgrandchildren; five great-greatgrandchildren; and brother, Max Miller of Rapid City.