The Woodward News


March 19, 2013

Mildred Lorene Grunewald Johnson

Woodward, Okla. — Mildred Lorene Grunewald Johnson was born Nov 2, 1922 in Midlothian, Oklahoma.  She heard Jesus call her name March 14, 2013.  She was 90 years old.

Mildred was born to Charles Clinton and Blanche Lorene Heckart Grunewald.  She was the oldest daughter following three brothers, Ross, Lee, and Ray.  In all there were 9 children born to Charlie and Blanche.  Early on, Mildred was nicknamed "Sis" and it stuck.  Her siblings and their spouses know her by Sis to this day.  Blanche was often busy with all the little Grunewald's running around.  So 'Sis' was known as the "go to" person to get something done.  Charlie was a preacher, which meant they moved quite often; Mildred made friends wherever they lived.  She was a faithful friend to everyone in those early churches and carried those friendships for the remainder of her life.  Mildred graduated from high school at Mutual High School, class of 1940.  She loved being a part of this small community and attended school reunions whenever possible.  She considered Mutual as her second hometown.

When Mildred was very young, Blanche taught her to play the piano.  Blanche loved to play and she passed that joy on to Mildred.  There were many hours of practice but also many hours of music filling the house.  Mildred played for church services, weddings, funerals, and for any other event when a pianist was needed.  She met Ernest, the love of her life, by being willing to go with his sister, Edith, to a Sunday afternoon sing at Ernest and Edith's parents home south of Vici so she could play for those singings.

Mildred married Ernest Elmer Johnson on Dec 29, 1946.  They were wed in Lee and Lahoma's home in Woodward.  Lee walked her down the aisle where Charlie was very pleased to marry them.  After the honeymoon, they moved to the homestead south of Vici.  Elmer Lee, Shirley Kay, and Pamela Ann blessed their home in quick succession.   Mildred was always very involved in the lives of her children; whether helping to study for a test, driving one of them to play practice, helping with farm chores, such as building fence, counting cattle, or encouraging them to have patience while learning to type, she was there to lovingly support and assist each time.  She was present at basketball games, band concerts, choir events, and class parties.  She played for numerous groups, both singing and instrumental, at the different competitions, Seiling Music Contest, District Contest and Tri-State Music Festival.  It didn't matter whether any of her own children were involved; if Mildred was asked, she willingly played.  She was a strong supporter of the music department at Vici.  Even after her children graduated, she volunteered many hours to the students, both for practice and then performance.  She was a fun loving person so this made her a favorite with all of the friends of her children.  Mildred felt honored to be asked to play for each one of the graduations of Elmer, Shirley, and Pam.  

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