Obituary: Eva Joy (Olsen) Johnson & Erling Isador Johnson

2002-06-21 50th ann

Eva Joy Johnson
December 30, 1929 – May 2, 2019

Erling Isador Johnson
December 10, 1925 – May 3, 2019

Together Forever

It is with heavy hearts we say goodbye to our loving parents, grandparents, and great-grandparents, Erling and Eva Johnson, who passed away within hours of each other in Williams Lake on May 2nd and 3rd, 2019.

They leave behind many memories for their ten children: Chris (Tina), Ingrid (Jerry), Darrell (Maechlin), Paul (Pauline), Bruce (Jackie), Byron (Laurie), Stephen (Rubina), Garth (Coleen), Ben (Tanya), and James (Kim), as well as their 22 grandchildren and a growing number of great-grandchildren.

Eva was predeceased by her parents, Ole and Constance Olsen, as well as her brothers John, Arnold, Einar, Hank, and Robert, and her sister Olive Broomfield. She is survived by her brother Herbert and her sister Eleanor Rodgers.

Erling was predeceased by his parents, Ted and Elfreda Johnson, as well as his sister Irene Fulla. He is survived by his younger sister Ivy Stubbs. Eva and Erling are also survived by numerous nieces, nephews, cousins, and extended family members in Canada, Sweden, and Norway.

Remembered for their devotion to both their family and their Christian faith, Eva and Erling were married for almost 67 years. They shared a wonderful life together that was a model for all our family, and they will be greatly missed. During this difficult time, the family takes comfort in knowing that Eva and Erling’s walk throughout their married lives was always in step with one another, and with the Lord.

The eldest child of Swedish immigrants, Ted and Elfreda (Stenvall) Johnson, Erling Isador Johnson was born in Sylvan Lake, Alberta on December 10th, 1925. After a difficult time spent attempting to farm, Erling’s parents moved the family to Smithers in the late 1920s. In 1938, the family moved again, this time to Nanaimo, on Vancouver Island, where Erling attended John Shaw High School.

After graduating, Erling attended Grade 13 in Vancouver, in preparation for university. But instead of heading off to UBC as planned, he enlisted in the Canadian Army on August 3rd, 1944, at age 18. He was trained in Vancouver and England and was sent to Holland in 1945. Discharged on December 4th, 1945, Erling enrolled in the Forestry program at UBC, and as an Armed Forces veteran, his tuition was paid.

Erling is remembered for his great patience and kindness. He was so proud of all his children, and he loved to tell stories of their many accomplishments.

Eva Joy Olsen was born in Hagensborg, outside Bella Coola, on December 30th, 1929, to Norwegian immigrant parents Ole and Constance (Fyhn) Olsen.

The Olsens moved away from the Bella Coola Valley in early 1935, after their home was destroyed by a great flood from which the family had to be rescued. The family moved to Sidney on Vancouver Island, and although her older siblings felt the strain of the move, Eva loved growing up there, and living near Roberts Bay. She remembered the family growing strong ties within their church community, and she had fond memories of days spent on the beach.

In 1942, the Olsens moved to Nanaimo, where Eva attended John Shaw High School. She got her first job in an accountant’s office when she was 17, and she also worked for a few years in the office at Northwest Bay Logging Company.

Eva is remembered for her lovely singing voice, which graced not only family events and church functions, but also could be heard during quiet moments at home.

Eva and Erling first met in 1947. Thinking back on the day they met, Eva wrote in her journal: “He walked into our church, and I promptly fell in love.” The couple were married in Nanaimo, on June 21st, 1952, after Erling received his degree and was working in the forest industry.

Living in Nanaimo on St. Andrews Street, the Johnsons started a family of their own. Christopher, Ingrid, Darrell, and Paul were born in Nanaimo. Sons Bruce, Byron, Stephen, Garth, Benjamin, and James followed after the family moved to the Cowichan Valley.

In the late 1950s, the family moved to Nitinat, a logging camp at Kissinger Lake. By 1962, they had moved to Lake Cowichan, and four years later, they moved to Herd Road, outside of Maple Bay. They lived at the Herd Road house for about eight years before moving to a rented home in Duncan, and then to their own home in Crofton.

In 1976, the family moved to property outside of 100 Mile House. Over the next 30 years, Eva and Erling, with the help of their sons, developed a ranch at Upper Lake, and enjoyed a rural lifestyle.

With their children grown up with families of their own, Erling and Eva fulfilled their long-time dream of moving back to Vancouver Island in 2006. They settled in French Creek, enjoying a life of retirement by the ocean’s shore.

In 2015, Erling and Eva returned to the Cariboo. They were happy to have loving family members visit them at the Williams Lake Seniors Village, offering comfort and support during their final years.

The family would like to thank the staff at the Williams Lake Seniors Village, and a special thank you to Dr. Schreve. A memorial service for the Johnsons was held on Saturday, May 11th at the Cariboo Christian Life Fellowship Church at the 108 Mile Ranch. In remembrance of Erling and Eva, donations can be made to Cal Bombay Ministries, a charity which the Johnsons supported for many years.

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