(Esther) Colleen Johnson, 79, formerly of Malta, ran into the arms of Jesus on Nov. 5 after a long illness. She was born in Southeast Missouri on Sept. 16, 1943, to Luther and Dell Swiney Brown. Her love affair with Jesus began April 23, 1962, when she accepted Him as her personal Savior and continues today.
In 1962 she met Bobby Johnson and fell in love with him for his kind spirit and the way he treated her like a princess. They married on Sept. 23, 1963 and were married for 50 beautiful years. Together they had two children, Kim and Scott, who they adored.
In 1986 she discovered the love of being a Nana and went on to have five wonderful grandchildren. Kim and Jeff had three boys Jacob, Chris, and Tyler. Scott and Terri had one boy Chad, and one girl, Sarah. She loved all of them so very much and enriched their lives beyond measure. Because she was her only granddaughter, she doted on Sarah and loved every moment spent with her.
The entire neighborhood loved her as she babysat, not only her own grandchildren, but many of the neighborhood children as well. She and Bob owned their own janitorial service and for many years cleaned the Malta Post Office, Resource Bank and Bethany Animal Hospital.
Colleen loved family time and was known to be the biggest kid of all. She was determined to never grow up and become ‘old’ to her grandchildren. This was evidenced when her grandson had a chocolate syrup slip and slide for his high school graduation party where she proudly took her place down the slide covered in chocolate syrup and laughing hysterically.
She loved children and taught children’s church and Sunday school at the First Baptist Church of Creston for many years, touching young lives and changing them forever.
She leaves behind one daughter, Kimberly (Jeff) Smith of Port Saint Lucie, Florida and one son, Gregory Scott (Terri) Johnson of Kingston, Illinois, five grandchildren, Jacob, Christopher, Tyler Smith of Port Saint Lucie, Florida, Chad (Lindsay) Batorski of Lodi, Wisconsin, Sarah Johnson of DeKalb and one great grandchild, Raelin Batorski of Lodi, Wisconsin and many nieces and nephews. She is also survived by one sister, Shirley (Kenneth) Montavon of DeKalb. She is preceded in death by her parents, her husband, Bobby Johnson, five sisters, Jean, Lezona, Suetta, Mary, Fleta Jo, and one brother Calvin.
A celebration of life will be held Tuesday, Nov. 8 at Unger-Horner Funeral Home, 400 N. 6th St. in Rochelle. Public visitation begins at 9 a.m. with a funeral service at 10:30 a.m. with Reverend Steve Johnson officiating. Burial will follow at Trinity Memory Gardens. Please visit www.ungerhorner.comto sign the online guest book.